Afterburner Autosport Ready to Continue USF2000 Championship Title Chase North of the Border
 July 10, 2013| 
  • Team News
Rookie racers Gooden, Newey, and Slaghekke seeking to challenge for top honors on the streets of Toronto

MINNEAPOLIS, MIN. – The pursuit of Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda glory continues for Afterburner Autosport this coming weekend (July 13-14), when the summer hiatus ends with Rounds Six and Seven on the streets of Toronto. Rookie standouts Wyatt Gooden, Brandon Newey, and Jeroen Slaghekke will once again get behind the wheels for the Minnesota-based squad focused on challenging for places on the post-race podium during the doubleheader after a strong start to the 2013 campaign that has the team second in the title fight.

Over a month after contesting the lone oval on the series calendar, the USF2000 Championship drivers and teams are back in action via a street circuit doubleheader in downtown Toronto. For Afterburner Autosport, the twin bill in Canada represents the opportunity to resume what has been an impressive run thus far in the Mazda Road to Indy development series.

A title contender in only its second season of USF2000 action, the three-car outfit has been one to watch on the more traditional road courses and street circuits. The talented trio of Gooden, Newey, and Slaghekke were particularly strong last time the highly-regarded championship took to the tight confines of a street circuit in St. Petersburg. Gooden, who pilots the No. 17 Autosport racer, was in contention for the win on both days in Florida, ultimately finishing second in the two races. Newey further highlighted the skill of the Afterburner Autosport squad, running among the lead pack as well in Rounds Three and Four en route to piloting the No. 98 Curb Records/Calcium Pro/USANA/Miller Oils/OMP/Bell Helmets/Afterburner Autosport entry to sixth and fifth place in the doubleheader. While Slaghekke did not garner the results he desired while racing for another outfit back in March, the No. 18 Carriere/W-H Sports Group/Afterburner Autosport driver did show good speed and skill, cracking the top-four in both practice and qualifying.

Given the Afterburner Autosport team's performance last time the USF2000 Championship racers battled within a 'concrete jungle', and the fact no driver has previous experience around 1.755-mile track on the Canadian National Exhibition grounds, Gooden, Newey, and Slaghekke are more than ready to fight for top honors in Rounds Six and Seven.

"I'm looking forward to this one!" stated Gooden. "The Toronto circuit will suit us well. For sure we will be looking to gain some points on the championship leader."

"I am really excited to be back on a street course in Toronto," commented Newey. "I have been coming to this race for the past couple of years now, and it is always a lot of fun, so I've been looking forward to this race all season. The team has really been working great all season, and with this long break, I think that will only help us moving forward."

"This will be my first race with the team on a street circuit or any circuit other than an oval for that matter," added Slaghekke. "Afterburner Autosport were strong in St. Petersburg, so I’m feeling confident we can put on a strong performance in Toronto as well. It’s great that almost nobody has been to this circuit before either, which is going to be a great challenge that I am very much looking forward to!"

The pursuit of race wins in Toronto, Ont., gets underway for the Afterburner Autosport trio of Gooden, Newey, and Slaghekke on Friday (July 12), with two Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda practice runs. That is followed by the lone qualifying session at 4:35 pm local time. Race one of the Canadian street race doubleheader is scheduled to commence at 9:55 am local time on Saturday (July 13), while race two is slated for 11:35 am local time on Sunday (July 14). Live timing and scoring will be available at The Minnesota-based team enters Rounds Six and Seven second in the team standings, while Gooden is second in the driver standings, ahead of Newey in 10th and Slaghekke in 13th.

Additional information on Afterburner Autosport is available from the team’s website @ For direct contact, email or call 630-251-1709.

Keep up to date via Twitter @ ABautosport1 and Facebook page @ Afterburner Autosport.

Learn more about Brandon Newey and keep up to date via Twitter @BNEWEYand Facebook @ Brandon Newey.

Learn more about Wyatt Gooden at and keep up to date via Twitter @ WyattGooden and Facebook @ Wyatt Gooden Racing.

Learn more about Jeroen Slaghekke at and keep up to date via Twitter @ JeroenSlaghekke and Facebook Jeroen Slaghekke Racing.


About Afterburner Autosport:
Afterburner Autosport was formed in 2010 with the sole purpose of leading the way in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda competition. Under the guidance of two-time SCCA Formula Continental National Champion Brian Tomasi and fellow F2000 racer and engineer Tim Walsh, the team has over 20 years of experience in open-wheel competition. The Minnesota, Min.-based squad, having captured two podium finishes in its inaugural pro racing season in 2011, made its USF2000 Championship debut in 2012, fielding multiple cars in the top Championship class. The squad returns to the first rung of the Mazda Road to Indy program with an expanded multi-car effort in 2013.

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