Championship leader DeFrancesco readies for first oval race
 August 19, 2020| 
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BROWNSBURG, Ind. — The Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires returns to action this weekend at Lucas Oil Raceway where championship points leader Devlin DeFrancesco will tackle another first—his first oval race.

DeFrancesco comes into the Cooper Tires Freedom 90 with a one-point lead over Sting Ray Robb, a tally bolstered by three podium finishes in the first five rounds for the Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport driver.

Lucas Oil Raceway, located just outside of Indianapolis, will be the first oval race for the Italian-Canadian driver of the No. 17 WTF1-liveried machine. However, he’s had some heavy hitters in the motorsports world to lean on as he prepared for the event. DeFrancesco has sought the advice of his fellow Allinsports Simulator racers: Indianapolis 500 champions Tony Kanaan and Juan Pablo Montoya to give him an edge on the 0.686-mile oval.

A key part of the Indianapolis 500, the Indy Pro 2000 race takes place on Carb Day evening, following the final practice for the Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, just six miles down the road.

DeFrancesco’s Indy Pro 2000 campaign is supported by leading motorsport media brand WTF1, world-class racing simulator manufacturer Allinsports, Apple’s largest premium retail partner, Simply Mac, Torque Esports, Pure Kana and One Plant Merchandise.

Practice begins Thursday, August 20th at 12:45 PM, with qualifying at 8:10 PM that same evening. DeFrancesco will take the green flag under the lights on Friday during the Dave Steele Carb Night Classic at 7:50 PM. Live timing and radio can be found at

Q: It’s your first oval race, how excited are you to get to Indy and take on Lucas Oil Raceway?

“I’m very excited to do my first event on an oval. But, despite the excitement being very very high, the approach is the same.

“I’ve gotta be prepared, and the team has to be as prepared as possible to do the best we can. It’s going to be a big learning curve for me, but luckily I have some great people around me and a team that has won here before and has so much experience on ovals.

“The high speed stuff is something that I really enjoy and I’m ready to get going.”

Q: How does leading the championship change your approach to the race weekend?

“It’s still just one race at a time. The approach has to stay the same. I’m not going to change my mindset just because I’m leading the points.
“I always want to win, and I really do want to get my first win in the series both for myself and the Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport team. But points mean prizes and so a good finish will always be my goal no matter where I am in the standings.

“As long as we stay consistent and keep fighting at the front, we’re going to be looking good for race results and the championship.”


Q: How did you prepare for your first oval? And what is the best advice you’ve received about it?

“I’ve been talking a lot with my engineer Doug Zister, as well as Don Lambert from Andretti and watching a lot of video from previous races. I’ve also been lucky enough to have Juan Pablo Montoya and Tony Kanaan to talk with about the experience.

“I’ve been really taking in everything they have to say and build a complete picture. I’ve done one day of testing on an oval, and that was great, different, but very enjoyable—but these guys have a lot more experience than I do! So anything they have to offer is so valuable.
“The most important piece of advice they gave me is to make sure to relax and enjoy it. They all talked about the importance of being calm and cool and collected and focused when you’re in the car.

“It’s true anytime you’re in the car, but especially during an oval race. I’ve just gotta go into the weekend and focus on the job at hand, stay calm in my approach and keep working like we have been during the first two weekends of the championship, I think we’ll come out with a good result.”

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