Andretti Autosport NJMP Race Debrief
 October 12, 2020| 
  • Team News
In the first race of the penultimate weekend for the Indy Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires, Devlin DeFrancesco couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. The No. 17 driver opened the weekend's first qualifying session with power, setting the fastest lap of the session to claim pole position for Race 1.

After capturing pole for Race 1, DeFrancesco went on to dominate the field and lead all 25 laps at New Jersey Motorsports Park, collecting his second victory of the season. With Saturday's win from pole, DeFrancesco began closing the gap to Sting Ray Robb's championship lead to only 41 points.
Following an impressive performance in Saturday's Race 1, DeFrancesco and the Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport crew felt confident heading into Sunday's doubleheader. Starting the day with the second round of qualifying, the Italian-Canadian encountered a tire-temperature issue in the session to claim the fifth starting position for Race 2.

Ready to battle it out in Race 2, DeFrancesco's day ended as quickly as it started. The 20-year-old made contact with Manuel Sulaiman in Turn 1 on Lap 1 and was forced into pit lane to fix the damage. After the Lap 1 contact, DeFrancesco and the No. 17 crew made the decision to pit again later in the race for fresh tires with hopes of setting a fast lap - as the fastest laps in descending order set the field for Race 3. With the early contact, DeFrancesco brought home 10th position in Race 2.
After a difficult Race 2 for DeFrancesco, the team's strategy to come in for fresh tires paid off and gave the No. 17 machine the third-place starting position for Race 3. As the green flag flew for Race 3, DeFrancesco made a move that placed the Italian-Canadian up into the top two. Working with the momentum gained from the start, DeFrancesco suddenly found himself with damage again after making contact with Artem Petrov, bringing out the only caution for Race 3. The contact on Lap 4 ended the day for DeFrancesco and handed the No. 17 another 10th-place result.

As the checkered flag flew for Race 3 and back-to-back 10th-place finishes for DeFrancesco, Sting Ray Robb was crowned as the 2020 Indy Pro 2000 champion given that the remaining points available in St. Pete could not close the gap from second place.



With only two races remaining the Indy Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires schedule and a champion already crowned, DeFrancesco and the Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport team have their sights set on collecting two more trophies on the streets of St. Petersburg to close out the 2020 season.

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