INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Belardi Auto Racing's Cooper Tires Presents USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda team excelled at the only oval event on their 2012 season schedule with three top-10 finishes at Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Clermont, IN - a quick 10-minute drive from the most famous race track in the world, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Running in the top of the field throughout Saturday's activities were Belardi teammates Colin Thompson, Scott Anderson, Luca Forgeois and Roman Lagudi. All qualified in the top 11 (of 21 cars in the field) during the "TourHendricksCounty.com Night Before the 500," a Mazda Road to Indy and USAC event held, as the title so aptly says, the night before the Indianapolis 500.
The USF2000 race quickly became hairy on lap two when a pileup occurred with over one-third of the field involved, taking out the No. 11 of Thompson. All drivers involved were medically cleared, but unfortunately the cleanup was so extensive that the race was only able to see 46 of the planned 75 laps. The shortened race did not allow for much passing, however, Anderson managed to maneuver from P10 to fourth with his first top-5 finish of the season. Teammate Forgeois garnered another top-10 finish with his sixth-place drive, and Lagudi found his way to the podium for the fourth time this season with a solid third place.
With the next race on the schedule not until August, the Belardi Auto Racing team will take advantage of the time with plenty of testing to properly prepare for the next race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The Cooper Tires Presents USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda race during the "Night Before the 500" can be seen on the Mazda Motorsports Hour on Velocity by Discovery Channel on Saturday, June 30, at 12pm ET.
--- ROMAN LAGUDI, DRIVER OF NO. 4:
"It was a great weekend! It was tough to catch the Cape [Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing] guys, but we qualified third and finished in third during the race. We were able to avoid the crash since we were in front of it, so I'm really happy with the way our race went. It was a great points weekend. I have to thank everyone on the team for another awesome weekend." LUCA FORGEOIS, DRIVER OF NO. 9:
"The weekend started out basically trying to figure out the track and working out our setup. I was having some problems as a driver, but we got through them and had a good race car. The car was definitely good in traffic as well as alone. We should be good for Mid-Ohio, and I'm looking forward to getting some seat time in the meantime." COLIN THOMPSON, DRIVER OF NO. 11:
"Qualifying didn't go quite as planned as I qualified towards the middle of the grid. Come race time, I got caught up in an incident which involved so many cars, and there was really nothing I could do. It kind of unloaded an accordion effect and unfortunately wasn't able to continue the race after that. But we're on to the next race weekend, and I'm excited for Mid-Ohio!" SCOTT ANDERSON, DRIVER OF NO. 14:
"Even though the setup didn't work well for us in qualifying, it really worked for the race. In the beginning I had a good jump and then there was a crash in front of me. I didn't see what happened, but I know there were a ton of cars involved and I was able to get low enough to avoid it. The restart had me in fifth and from there I got a jump on Trent [Hindman] and was able to hold the gap until the end. I have to say a big thank you to the team and to Otter Cares for their support this weekend."
About Belardi Auto Racing
Belardi Auto Racing is a USF2000 and Indy Lights team based in Brownsburg, Indiana. The 2011 season saw two race wins, 10 podiums, 17 top-five finishes and 36 top-tens. Follow the team on Twitter, Facebook or their official website, www.BelardiAutoRacing.com.