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DATE News (chronologically)
03/23/13
usf2000
Hargrove Steers Clear of Trouble to Win Dramatic Race at St. Petersburg  
Hargrove
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Scott Hargrove enjoyed a perfect day in Round 3 of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda on the challenging 1.8-mile, 14-turn street circuit in downtown St. Petersburg.

The 18-year-old from Vancouver, B.C., Canada, qualified his #38 Analytic Systems/Race Energy/Metal Action/Skip Barber Racing/Bell Racing Van Diemen-Mazda, fielded by locally based team Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing, on pole position, made an exemplary start and controlled the remainder of the 21-lap, 30-minute race. 

Fellow front row qualifier and teammate Neil Alberico, who had won Race 2 at Sebring last week, once again hit misfortune in the opening race of the weekend – just as he did one week ago when he encountered a mechanical problem on the very first lap. This time he was involved with an incident at the first corner with teammate Jeroen Slaghekke and was eliminated immediately.

Several other cars were involved in various incidents on the opening lap which brought out the Pace Car while the debris could be cleared away. Hargrove took off in confident style at the restart on Lap 3, edging clear with every lap to take the win a full 3.3 seconds ahead of his nearest challenger.

Wyatt Gooden (Afterburner Autosport), from Cleveland, Ohio, moved from third to second on the opening lap and held off a determined race-long challenge from Stefan Rzadzinski (JDC MotorSports), from Edmonton, Alb., Canada.

Brandon Newey, from Carmel, Ind., in a second Afterburner Autosport/BHA with Curb/Agajanian entry, held a fine fourth in the early stages but slipped back to seventh by the finish.

Former karting star Jesse Lazare, from Montreal, Que., Canada, passed Newey on Lap 16 to secure fourth place for the Pabst Racing Services team ahead of fellow 15-year-old Florian Latorre (JAY Motorsports), from Libourne, France.

Henrik Furuseth (PRL Motorsports), 16, from Oslo, Norway, fell from eighth to 15th following the restart on Lap 3, whereupon the 2012 National Class champion once again displayed his potential by climbing all the way to sixth at the checkered flag, ahead of Newey.

Paralyzed racer Michael Johnson (JDC MotorSports), from Flint, Mich., overcame a mechanical problem in qualifying to rise from 27th on the grid to 14th ahead of National Class Presented by SCCA Formula Enterprises winner Scott Rettich (Alliance Autosport), from Camden, Ohio.

Also noteworthy today was Danilo Estrela (Belardi Auto Racing), who was involved in an early incident and lost several laps to the leaders. Unbowed, the Orlando, Fla.-based Brazilian posted the fastest lap of the race and will start seventh tomorrow where the grid will be set by an amalgam of second-fastest laps from this morning’s lone qualifying session and each competitor’s fastest lap from Race 1.

Hargrove, who also won last week’s season-opening race at Sebring International Raceway, now holds a commanding 36-point lead in the championship, 90-54, over Gooden heading into tomorrow’s Peninsula Pipeline Grand Prix of St. Petersburg at 9:30 am ET.

Felipe Donato of ArmsUp Motorsports earned the Tilton Hard Charger Award moving from 26th on the grid to 10th in the attrition-filled race. Additional awards included the PFC Award to the winning car owners of Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing and Alliance Autosport; the Staubli Award to Hargrove; and the National Class Masters Award Presented by Elite Engines/Comprent to Rettich.

Podium
Scott Hargrove, #38 Analytic Systems/Race Energy/Metal Action/Skip Barber Racing/Bell Racing (Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing) – First: “It may have looked easy but driving on the streets was not at all easy with the walls everywhere. It was a pretty big challenge. I can’t thank the Cape Motorsports team enough. They gave me a great car. It was really close in qualifying and we got through Turn One, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.”

Wyatt Gooden, #17 Ohio Center for Sport Psychology (Afterburner Autosport) – Second: “The start was pretty chaotic and I knew it was going to be. Right after that the caution came out, I was in second and I just had to hang on to it for the rest of the race. It feels great to be on the podium.”

Stefan Rzadzinski, #93 CanTorque/Christenson Developments/Goldmark Diesel/Calroc Equipment/Red Line Oil (JDC MotorSports) – Third: “It is good to be here and it is good to finally be back on the podium. The JDC MotorSports team worked so hard. We had a little luck go against us so it is great to be on the podium and, hopefully, keep on going forward from here.”

Scott Rettich, #71 PDI Communication Systems/Springboro Car Wash (Alliance Autosport) – National Class Winner: “We just really have our act together. We have been fast all year so far and the team continues to give me a great car. It’s been a great experience and I am having a good time.”

Results

1 1 1 CHP 38 Scott Hargrove Vancouver, BC, Canada Cape Motorsports w/WTR 21 28:09.549 1:14.194 9 Running
2 3 2 CHP 17 Wyatt Gooden Cleveland, OH Afterburner Autosport 21 3.383 28:12.932 1:14.436 9 Running
3 5 3 CHP 93 Stefan Rzadzinski Edmonton, AB, Canada JDC MotorSports 21 3.868 28:13.417 1:14.484 19 Running
4 6 4 CHP 21 Jesse Lazare Montreal, QC, Canada Pabst Racing Services 21 12.984 28:22.533 1:14.660 8 Running
5 10 5 CHP 91 Florian Latorre Libourne, France JAY Motorsports 21 15.651 28:25.200 1:14.611 8 Running
6 12 6 CHP 96 Henrik Furuseth Oslo, Norway PRL Motorsports 21 17.555 28:27.104 1:14.706 21 Running
7 8 7 CHP 98 Brandon Newey Indianapolis, IN Afterburner/BHA with Curb/Agajanian 21 25.168 28:34.717 1:14.889 8 Running
8 11 8 CHP 23 Jason Wolfe Mount Vernon, OH Pabst Racing Services 21 28.426 28:37.975 1:14.980 20 Running
9 20 9 CHP 10 RC Enerson New Port Richey, FL ZSports w/Team E Racing 21 32.339 28:41.888 1:15.502 9 Running
10 26 10 CHP 51 Felipe Donato Sao Paulo, Brazil ArmsUp Motorsports 21 40.140 28:49.689 1:15.214 15 Running
11 17 11 CHP 41 Peter Portante Plainville, CT Belardi Auto Racing 21 42.055 28:51.604 1:15.283 7 Running
12 14 12 CHP 18 Jake Eidson Memphis, TN Afterburner Autosport 21 42.584 28:52.133 1:15.567 5 Running
13 23 13 CHP 14 Matt McMurry Phoenix, AZ Belardi Auto Racing 21 46.695 28:56.244 1:15.525 18 Running
14 27 14 CHP 54 Michael Johnson Flint, MI JDC MotorSports 21 50.149 28:59.698 1:15.505 18 Running
15 25 1 NAT 71 Scott Rettich Camden, OH Alliance Autosport 21 54.148 29:03.697 1:15.750 13 Running
16 7 15 CHP 3 James Fletcher Windsor, United KingdomCape Motorsports w/WTR 20 1 Lap 27:32.115 1:14.669 8 Running
17 24 16 CHP 6 Timothy  Paul Mount Kisco, NY ArmsUp Motorsports/SMR 20 1 Lap 27:39.669 1:15.693 17 Running
18 29 2 NAT 16 James Dayson Vancouver, BC, Canada ArmsUp Motorsports 20 1 Lap 29:23.162 1:19.970 18 Running
19 30 3 NAT 25 Ryan  Verra Calgary, AB, Canada Alliance Autosport 19 2 Laps 27:39.249 1:20.550 13 Running
20 4 17 CHP 32 Jeroen Slaghekke The Hague, Netherlands Cape Motorsports w/WTR 19 2 Laps 28:50.785 1:15.078 15 Running
21 9 18 CHP 11 Danilo Estrela Goiania, Brazil Belardi Auto Racing 18 3 Laps 29:05.410 1:14.180 16 Running
22 28 19 CHP 7 Garett Grist Grimsby, ON, Canada Andretti Autosport 13 8 Laps 29:12.811 1:14.722 9 Running
23 18 20 CHP 77 Austin Cindric Mooresville, NC Andretti Autosport 10 11 Laps 14:50.756 1:15.431 8 Not running
24 22 21 CHP 12 Arthur Oliveira Sao Paulo, Brazil JDC MotorSports 10 11 Laps 14:53.487 1:15.590 9 Not running
25 21 22 CHP 19 Clark Toppe The Woodlands, TX JDC MotorSports 10 11 Laps 17:39.155 1:15.917 8 Not running
26 19 23 CHP 20 Luca Forgeois New York, NY ZSports w/ Team E Racing 8 13 Laps 12:48.758 1:15.887 5 Not running
27 16 24 CHP 4 Daniel Burkett Winnipeg, MB, Canada Belardi Auto Racing 6 15 Laps 14:06.282 1:34.112 1 Not running
28 15 25 CHP 5 Dalton Kellett Toronto, ON, Canada Pabst Racing Services 5 16 Laps 8:20.961 1:15.961 5 Not running
29 2 26 CHP 2 Neil Alberico Los Gatos, CA Cape Motorsports w/WTR 21 Laps 0.187 0 Not running
30 13 27 CHP 30 Michael  Epps St. Albans, United KingdomPRL Motorsports 21 Laps 1.609 0 Not running
31 31 28 CHP 22 Andrew  Hobbs Milwaukee, WI ArmsUp Motorsports DNS

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