By Christopher DeHarde, IndyCar & Road to Indy Writer
NEWTON, Iowa — Despite not being fastest in the opening test or in the practice on Friday, Oliver Askew found his speed overnight, winning the pole and the 60 lap race at Iowa Speedway for his sixth win in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda season.
Askew’s No. 3 Cape Motorsports car pulled away from the start and never looked back, leading every lap and setting the race’s fastest lap.
Behind Askew, Pabst Racing’s Rinus VeeKay overtook teammate Calvin Ming during the race and pulled away to finish second. Ming finished third ahead of a closing Alex Baron in fourth for ArmsUp Motorsports.
The Team Pelfrey duo of Robert Megennis and Kaylen Frederick finished fifth and sixth ahead of the third Pabst Racing driver of Lucas Kohl.
Askew’s win was his third maximum points race of the season with pole, leading the most laps, setting the fastest lap and winning.
“Yesterday was a really tough day for us, we weren’t very fast, we were struggling in traffic but thankfully we made the right decisions, Dominic Cape, my engineer and everyone at Cape Motorsports did a really solid job at making sure that my car was stuck today and it was solid so it was really good,” Askew said.
Askew was also thankful that the series goes to an oval to prepare for one day racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
“I’m glad that this series brings us to ovals, I think that’s really important for us moving forward into IndyCar and I really enjoyed it, it was my first race obviously, I still have a lot to learn but this is a big leap toward building my career.”
VeeKay was closing on Askew but said it would take quite a bit longer before he could pass him.
“I think 75 laps would be too short to catch him but I think if it was the USF2000 100, I think I would have had a shot to put some pressure on him,” VeeKay said.
Ming scored his third podium finish of the season but once the start happened, he couldn’t catch Askew.
“I think I got a good start along with Oliver but in the end I think the Cape Motorsports team had a bit better setup than us because jtust going into Turn 1 I tried to follow Oliver and I think my car got free on me so he kind of got quite a big lead on the start and I just put my head down and tried to close up but in the end I think they just had a little better setup so it ended up being a battle between me and my teammate,” Ming said.