FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Indianapolis, IN (May 13, 2017) Today’s Round 6 of the USF2000 Grand Prix of Indianapolis Presented by Royal Purple Supporting the Lupus Foundation was a tough break for Newman Wachs Racing. The day started off well with the updated official results from yesterday’s race moving Dakota Dickerson up one position (4th), due to 2 cars being disqualified after the race last night.
The start of today’s race seemed like a carbon copy of yesterday, as three cars made contact in Turn 1 as soon as the green flag flew. This brought out a full-course caution, and by then, Dickerson had gained three spots moving him up to fourth.
On the re-start, about half-way through the race, Dakota was able to get a strong run on Robert Megennis (# 80) and passed him for third place. The Newman Wachs Racing team was excited and looking forward to celebrating their first podium finish of the season. But, as the saying goes: “It’s ain’t over till it’s over”.
With 2 laps left in the race, another full-course caution came out to remove a stopped car on track, and inevitably, that closed the gap between cars. One lap later, on the re-start, Robert Megennis (#80) got a great tow on Dickerson and locked wheels with him while trying to pass the #36 NWR machine. Dickerson was pushed into the grass trying to keep his podium position, and fell back to 10th place. Truly a heartbreaking finish for Dickerson and everyone on the Newman Wachs Racing Team.
The NWR Team is already looking ahead to the next USF2000 Championship race at Road America, June 23-25.
Dakota Dickerson (car #36) “We started the race in 7th position, and got a really great start. I was right on the bumper of Robert (Megennis) who was starting in front of us, in P5. I gave him a little bit of a bump, and he went to the outside, and I saw a gap right down the middle, in between Ricky (Donison) and Rinus (VeeKay), and just went for it, right there. I think Kaylen (Frederick), Rinus and I went pretty deep. Rinus hit me on the right, and then I hit Kaylen on the left, but we still managed to get through that corner in Turn 4, which was really great, considering I’d been able to make up 3 positions there. And, then, the full-course caution came out early on the first lap, so on the re-start, I tried to get up on Kaylen’s bumper, managed to get around him in Turn 2, after he made a little mistake, and then I was running 3rd for most of the race. I was trying to close the gap between myself and Rinus, but just couldn’t quite do it. And then, another full-course yellow came out. With one lap to go on the re-start, I got a decent re-start, but Robert (Megennis) got a good draft on me going down the front straight, he was on the outside, we both went really deep, I didn’t give him any room going thru Turn 1, and then going thru Turn 2, I gave him about a car-width of room right at the apex, but we locked our wheels, and that sent us both off track. At that point, it was just about trying to keep as many cars behind me, as possible. We ended up 10th overall. A pretty gut-wrenching day, considering that a podium position was there for us. It would have been our first podium for Newman Wachs Racing, my first podium in the Mazda Road to Indy, and great points for the Championship as well, but something to learn from. I will definitely be attacking at Road America, knowing that we have great pace and great potential.”
Alan O’Leary (Team engineer) – “All in all, it was a disappointing finish to what was shaking up to be a pretty good weekend for the NWR Team. Dakota had pretty good pace all weekend. He did a good job in yesterday’s race to finish 4th, and had a great race going today, made a great start, running up in third during the whole race. But, unfortunately, on the re-start, with 2 laps to go, he got passed, and he ended up on the grass, dropping back, so it’s a tough blow for sure. We thought we had a solid podium there, the whole team was disappointed. But, Dakota did a pretty good job throughout the whole weekend. We just need to go onto Road America, and pick up where we left off, here.”
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.