FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Birmingham, AL (April 21, 2017) Under blue skies and an ambient temperature of 89 degrees, the Newman Wachs Racing Team produced two top-10 finishes in today’s Round 3 of the Mazda USF2000 Grand Prix of Alabama Presented by Cooper Tires at Barber Motorsports Park.
All three Newman Wachs Racing drivers worked hard in today’s race.
Dakota Dickerson started fifth, but had some trouble on the first lap, and lost a position. However, he never gave up, and fought until the end. Dickerson is known for the guy who keeps right on trying, and consistently displays a professional attitude, no matter what the result is.
Rookie Andre Castro ended up in ninth position, and was quite satisfied with his performance today, especially after being sick and having a tough weekend in the last race at St. Petersburg. He understands that he still has a lot to learn, and he is not afraid to ask questions.
Both Castro and new teammate Flinn Lazier were new to the 2.3 mile, 17-turn permanent road course, which meant learning to deal with elevation, along with everything else.
Flinn Lazier, son of Indy 500 Champion Buddy Lazier had never stepped into the USF2000 car before this weekend. The learning curve was huge but the young rookie kept all four wheels on track, and stayed out of trouble. Today was all about learning the track and feeling the car.
The mild-mannered young man is taking it all in, getting good direction from engineer Alan O’Leary, and enjoying his dad’s precious advice.
Dakota Dickerson (car #36) – ““I got off to a bad start with Parker (Thompson) getting around the outside of me and from then on, I had to keep defending. After that, we were basically running single file for the entire race, trying to edge the gap up between Parker (Thompson). Then, the re-start happened after the full-course yellow, and it was the same thing, I was trying to get closer and closer to Parker, until the very end. But I just didn’t have enough time. If we’d had a few more laps, I would have attempted a pass, but there just wasn’t time. I will get it back tomorrow.”
Andre Castro (Car #37) – “I started 10th and on the initial lap, I went on the outside, got around 2 cars, and ended up in 8th, and spent most of the race in 8th place. Towards the middle of the race, I was getting my rhythm, and I was able to catch up with the front pack. When the yellow came, I thought I would get a chance at a better position on the re-start, but when we went green again, I didn’t feel like the front tires were on the car, I had some understeer after that, and fell to 9th. Overall, after starting in 10th, I am happy, and I think we will do better in tomorrow’s race. If I can gain a few more tenths in tomorrow’s qualifying, maybe I could start in top five, and that would make my race a whole lot easier. Hopefully, I can achieve that tomorrow.”
Flinn Lazier (car #38) – “It was exciting for me to be in this race. We started at the back, and worked our way up a little bit. Still had some trouble with the car, but obviously I am still learning the track, learning how the car is reacting, knowing what makes these cars go fast. I think we made good ground, made some good passes during the race, I still have a lot more work to do, but I definitely enjoyed it. I always enjoy racing. I think we’ll get there. Just need a little more time.”
Tomorrow’s Round 4 of the Mazda USF2000 Grand Prix of Alabama Presented by Cooper Tires is scheduled for 4:45 pm.
About the Newman Wachs Racing Team:
Newman Wachs Racing (NWR) is a racing team owned by Eddie Wachs and, until his death, American actor and racer himself, Paul Newman. NWR is based outside of Chicago, in Mundelein, Illinois. Newman and Wachs shared the same passion for racing and met when they both competed in the Can-Am Series in the mid-1970’s. They raced together for 15 years in Trans-Am, Can-Am, and many other SCCA professional venues. Over the years, they talked about joining forces to create a driver-development race team. They put together a Champ Car Atlantic team for the 2006 season to meet their objectives. In 2009, John Edwards won the Championship for NWR, beating teammate Jonathan Summerton in a tiebreaker.
About the USF2000 Series:
The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda debuted in 2010 and is a continuation of the highly regarded USF2000 series that ran from 1990 through 2006, launching the careers of many of today’s top drivers. Sanctioned by INDYCAR, the series is the first official step on the Mazda Road to Indy. In addition to providing a vital training ground for rising stars, the series champion will earn a scholarship package from Mazda to advance to the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, the next step in the ladder system.
Aside from being one of the most successful driver development programs in the world, the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system has attracted competitors from all over the world, while providing a unique, scholarship-funded path to reach the Verizon IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500.