By Christopher DeHarde, IndyCar & Road to Indy Writer
Red Deer, Alberta native Parker Thompson had a dream weekend in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda in his home country of Canada.
The Exclusive Autosport driver navigated his way through a three car pile-up and held off Pabst Racing’s Rinus VeeKay to score his second win of the season on the streets of Toronto.
Starting fourth behind three of the fastest drivers in the 2017 season, Thompson had a mountain to climb. Cape Motorsports’s Oliver Askew was on pole but Alex Baron led the first lap for ArmsUp Motorsports. David Malukas was third for BN Racing but would get around Askew for second soon after.
Baron and Malukas are both part time drivers in the championship and were fighting hard for the lead while points leader Askew was content to stay in third and add to his points lead. However, everything would go wrong halfway through the race.
While fighting for the lead in Turn 3, Baron and Malukas had contact and Askew was caught up in the incident with nowhere to go. Askew would turn another couple of laps before retiring while the other combatants went no further. They would finish 12th, 13th and 14th with Askew ahead of Baron and Malukas.
Meanwhile, Thompson got ahead of the incident in the lead with VeeKay behind him. The race went green and Frederick got to third after the restart, allowing his Team Pelfrey teammate Robert Megennis to fall into the clutches of Newman Wachs Racing’s Darren Keane and ArmsUp Motorsports’s Devin Wojcik.
Thompson’s run was incident free as Thompson won with VeeKay Frederick, Keane and Megennis filling out the top five.
PT 2.0 came off of a terrible weekend at Iowa Speedway with about as good of a result as you can get and it couldn’t have come a better time.
“You make your own luck, I knew something was going to go wrong there, they were just fighting so hard so early so I kind of just eased off, I knew we had a good car for the end. The Exclusive Autosport No. 90 car again was on rails,” Thompson said.
“There’s not a harder working group of people than Exclusive Autosport. We had a rough week in Iowa last week but for us to bounce back with double victories is absolutely unbelievable,” Thompson added.
With Askew’s DNF, the USF2000 points battle is a lot closer.