INDIANAPOLIS – On the heels of another thrilling Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires finish to the Freedom 100 presented by Cooper Tires at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Road to Indy development ladder crowned a pair of first-time winners Friday night at nearby Lucas Oil Raceway.
Daniel Frost, a 17-year-old from Singapore, won the Indy Pro 2000 presented by Cooper Tires race, shortly after Cameron Shields, an 18-year-old Australian, captured the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship event.
Indy Pro 2000: Frost, the pole sitter, led flag-to-flag in the 90-lap race and won by an amazing 4.8048 seconds on the tight 0.686-mile oval to grab his maiden victory in Indy Pro 2000.
“I'm speechless right now,” said Frost, driver of the No. 68 Exclusive Autosport Tatuus PM-18. “That was a crazy race. We've been moving so fast the whole weekend. I just can't think the team enough. I just can't thank the team enough!”
Sting Ray Robb (No. 2 Juncos Racing) finished second, his best Indy Pro 2000 finish to date, ahead of teammate and championship leader Rasmus Lindh (No. 10 Juncos Racing) in third. After five races, Lindh leads Frost by nine points, with Robb 21 points shy of the leader.
USF2000: Shields put in a commanding performance to capture his first series victory. Starting second in the No. 73 Newman Wachs Racing Tatuus USF-17, Shields grabbed the lead at the drop of the green flag and led all 75 laps.
Shields won by 1.429 seconds over rival Alex Baron (No. 14 Legacy Autosport) and was congratulated on the podium via FaceTime from fellow Toowoomba, Australia, resident and reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Will Power.
“It was absolutely incredible,” Shields said. “We knew straight from the test day last week (that) we had the pace. We had a plan in place and it really pulled through this weekend. That race was tough. I had a good lead at the start and then I saw the safety car come out (for two cautions) and knew it was going to get tough. But the Cooper Tires hung in.
“We stayed there until the end. I certainly had the pressure on from behind, but that was really good.”
The win was also the first for Newman Wachs Racing in USF2000 – the first rung of the Road to Indy development ladder.
Colin Kaminsky (No. 23 Pabst Racing) started on pole and finished third. Points leader Braden Eves (No. 8 Cape Motorsports) posted a fifth-place result to retain a comfortable lead in the championship standings, leading Hunter McElrea (No. 22 Pabst Racing) by 44 points after five of 15 races.
Both Indy Pro 2000 and USF2000 return to action along with Indy Lights and the NTT IndyCar Series from June 21-23 in the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America in Wisconsin. Each of the three Road to Indy series will conduct doubleheader race weekends.