Exclusive Autosport Scores First Podiums of the Season
 September 9, 2020| 
  • Team News
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Exclusive Autosport returned to the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway this past week, taking to the facility’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course for Rounds 7, 8 and 9 of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship. The Cooper Tires Indy GP event featured the program’s first tripleheader of the season, packed into just two days of on-track action.

California’s Christian Brooks driving the Exclusive Autosport / Cambridge FX #44 led the team by grabbing his first two podium finishes of the season, capping the event with a runner-up finish. In addition, fellow Californian Prescott Campbell broke into the top-10 during the event, recording his second tenth-place finish of the year, while Oregon’s Josh Pierson had his best race of the season, fighting hard for position in Race 3. The rapidly-developing 14-year-old came home with an impressive 12th place result.

“Racing at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway is always incredible. The EA team has worked really hard on and off the track to develop speed in both the cars and the drivers,” said Michael Duncalfe, Team Principal. “These two podium finishes are really special for the team and for Christian (his first podiums in RTI competition). He drove very well and fought hard for them. Both Prescott and Josh found speed at IMS as well.  Prescott snagged a much deserved top-10 finish in race three. Josh showed how much he has learned and developed in such a short period of time, with his best finish of the year. We will certainly use this positive momentum as we move towards Mid Ohio this coming weekend. Overall, I am really proud of the entire team, drivers and crew for all of their hard work. Although we found the podium in USF2000 competition, it was a really difficult weekend for the team, as our thoughts were with Braden (Eves) and his family.”

The tripleheader event kicked off early Thursday morning with the drivers one and only practice session. The practice was a bit delayed due to a thick layer of fog but, as soon as it lifted, the cars started clocking laps. It was the first time racing at this legendary road course for all three Exclusive Autosport USF2000 rookie drivers and they could all feel the electricity of this magical track. Midday, Brooks, Campbell, and Pierson set out for their first 20-minute qualifying session, as Race 1 was scheduled for later that afternoon. After qualifying ninth, Brooks fought for position all race and crossed the ‘yard of bricks’ where he started, garnering strong points for the championship. The USF2000 program is incredibly competitive, and Campbell advanced four positions to take 14th, while Pierson used the initial race to get a feel for his competition and posted a 17th place result.

Friday morning started bright and early with a welcomed chill in the air to get the qualifying for Race 2 in the books. After working with the engineers and driver coaches, the adjustments made overnight provided our drivers with the desired increase in speed and drivability as all three significantly lowered their times, giving them much better starting positions for Race 2.

The second race began with some chaos, which provided Christian with the opportunity to capitalize as he moved to fourth on the opening lap. Brooks ultimately fought his way up to third to score his first podium of the year. Campbell and Pierson also had their hands full, as it was a full-on scrap in the middle to rear of the field. Unfortunately for Campbell, he got checked up on the start which caused him to fall to the tail of the field. He fought his way back up to finish just one spot behind where he started, while Pierson was able to gain one position, setting up for a strong run in the third race of the weekend.

The final race for the USF2000 was a longer 20-lap contest and would cap off Exclusive Autosport’s day late in the late afternoon. This race also had a bit of a chaotic start as the off-pole starter was unable to spool up his car, causing most the field to make evasive maneuvers in order to avoid him. The field spread to almost five-wide going into Turn 1. Brooks was again able to move his car up to the fourth place on lap one and immediately began to fight for another podium. A handful of laps in, he was the final car in a three-driver attack on the leader as they all streamed through to move him to fourth.

Christian was sitting third and was ready to attack for second and first. With just one lap to go, the leader made an error in Turn 1, sending him off the track. He came back on-track right in front of Brooks who completed a successful over-under pass in Turn 7 to advance to second. Campbell and Pierson were also having their best races of the season. Campbell spent the entire race fighting for a top-10 finish. He was surrounded by USF2000 veterans and made moves to grab tenth, which tied his best finish of the season. Pierson was also surrounded by vets and was turning lap times faster than many who were running just outside the top-five. While fighting for every position he gained and working on his passing skills, Josh ultimately scored his best finish with a 12th place result. The team is proud of all three drivers and their performances at IMS and we look forward to Mid-Ohio this weekend.

In the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship standings, Brooks has been ultra-consistent and has moved himself up into the fourth position in the championship. Campbell now sits in the 14th position, while Pierson is 19th in the points. 

While the team is overjoyed with the results and progress of our USF2000 drivers, our minds are on our Indy Pro 2000 driver Braden Eves, who was involved in a major incident in his first race on Thursday afternoon. Thankfully, after spending two nights in the hospital, Braden was released on Saturday afternoon. He is now at home recovering from his injuries and will not return to competition for the reminder of the 2020 season. The Exclusive Autosport ownership, staff and crew would like to thank the AMR IndyCar Safety team, the IMS infield care center and the doctors and nurses at IU Health Methodist Hospital for taking such great care of Braden.

Exclusive Autosport is pleased to be able to partner with great companies, such as Cambridge Global Payments (https://ca.cambridgefx.com/exclusive-autosport/) and AERO™ Advanced Paint Technology (www.rethinkpaint.com), which is used on all their race cars.

EXCLUSIVE AUTOSPORT – DRIVER RESULTS AND QUOTES

USF2000 – ROUNDS 7/8/9 – SEPTEMBER 3-4, 2020

COOPER TIRES USF2000 INDY GRAND PRIX – INDIANAPOLIS, IN

PRESCOTT CAMPBELL - #1

Qualifying 1: 18th – 1:26.958

Qualifying 2: 15th – 1:25.527

Race 1: Start – 18th / Finish – 14th

Race 2: Start – 15th / Finish – 16th

Race 3: Start – 12th / Finish – 10th

Driver Quote: “At IMS, the team once again proved that they are willing to stop at nothing to ensure we make it on track. To break into the top-10 again is encouraging for the rest of the season and next weekend’s races in Ohio. I’m relieved Braden is recovering from his accident and I am happy for Christian on his first USF2000 podiums.”

JOSH PIERSON - #16

Qualifying 1: 19th – 1:27.027

Qualifying 2: 19th – 1:25.674

Race 1: Start – 19th / Finish – 17th

Race 2: Start – 19th / Finish – 18th

Race 3: Start – 20th / Finish – 12th

Driver Quote: “Indianapolis was the coolest race I’ve been able to do with the Road to Indy so far. The atmosphere and the track are amazing to be around. This track was a huge stepping stone for me and I managed to squeeze out my best result here, coming home 12th after staying out of trouble and completing several passes. I’m looking forward to carrying the new-found momentum onto Mid-Ohio!”

CHRISTIAN BROOKS - #44

Qualifying 1: 9th – 1:26.372

Qualifying 2: 6th – 1:24.990

Race 1: Start – 9th / Finish – 9th

Race 2: Start – 6th / Finish – 3rd

Race 3: Start – 7th / Finish – 2nd

Driver Quote: “I’m immensely proud of everyone involved in the Exclusive Autosport racing team after a very productive weekend. Improvements were made and hardware was received. We have been making our way forward all season and we’re now finally challenging for race wins. Now that we’re up to fourth in the championship and the highest-placed rookie, we will be pushing to make a comeback in the championship.”

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