ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin – Pole sitter Rinus VeeKay enjoyed a dominating flag-to-flag victory Sunday to claim the second race of the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires doubleheader at Road America.
The 18-year-old Dutchman was untouchable over the 20-lap race in the No. 21 Juncos Racing Dallara IL-15, riding off to an authoritative 12.8989-second victory over Saturday’s winner, Ryan Norman (No. 48 Andretti Autosport).
It was a nice rebound for VeeKay following a difficult first race, where he finished seventh after a drive-through penalty for blocking took him out of contention.
“It was way more fun (than Saturday),” VeeKay said after taking his third win of the year.
“End the weekend with a win – a dominating win – is great. I wish it was like this (Saturday) because the speed was maybe even better than today. It sucks a little from yesterday, but it happens. Still, I took everything out of the car and I want to thank the team, Juncos Racing, for the amazing car.”
Oliver Askew (No. 28 Andretti Autosport) managed to slide into the third and final spot on the podium, which keeps the Floridian three points ahead of VeeKay (229-226) in the championship halfway through the 18-race season.
David Malukas (No. 79 BN Racing) had several wheel-to-wheel battles while charging from seventh on the grid to finish fourth.
Kirkwood sweeps Indy Pro 2000 weekend
Kyle Kirkwood snagged the weekend sweep for Indy Pro 2000 presented by Cooper Tires at Road America. It’s the second straight year that the reigning Cooper Tires USF2000 champion won both races at the Wisconsin road course, following his USF2000 sweep in 2018.
The driver of the No. 38 RP Motorsport Racing Tatuus PM-18 started third Sunday, grabbing the lead from pole sitter Rasmus Lindh (No. 10 Juncos Racing) to pace the final 10 of 15 laps and win by 0.5847 of a second.
“It feels very good from what we’ve came off of, especially after the Indianapolis race where we should’ve won two races and now we’re able to do it,” said Kirkwood.
“It’s a really good feeling and I know this is going to create something big for us as a team pushing momentum forward. I couldn’t be happier right now about our weekend.”
The runner-up finish kept Lindh comfortably atop the championship standings by 30 points over Parker Thompson (No. 8 Abel Motorsports), who took the third and final spot on the podium. The weekend sweep vaulted Kirkwood back into the title race after seven of 16 races, sitting third and just one point behind Thompson.
Eves quietly takes Race 2 win in USF2000
Braden Eves took the early lead and kept it clean to take the second leg of the doubleheader weekend for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship at Road America.
The pilot of the No. 8 Cape Motorsports Tatuus USF-17 started second and snagged the lead on Lap 2 of 12 on his way to a 4.5908-second victory over teammate Darren Keane. Eves needed the outing after back-to-back races off the podium.
"It makes the win feel so much better because Lucas Oil (Raceway last month) was such a struggle," Eves said.
"We ended up getting up to fifth place, but we never really had like the pace to win at Lucas. (On Saturday at Road America), I think had we had a better qualifying, we would've been able to do the same thing we did today, unfortunately. But it goes like that sometimes in racing and to be off the podium, two races in a row, makes it feel so good to be back on top again."
Pole sitter Hunter McElrea (No. 22 Pabst Racing) led the opening lap before fading to finish third.
The win marks the fifth time Eves has won in 2019, extending his championship lead to 41 points over McElrea after seven of 15 races this season.
All three levels of the Road to Indy, the official INDYCAR development ladder, return to action with doubleheader weekends at the Honda Indy Toronto from July 12-14.