JHDD Start the Road to Indy Season on the Podium at Barber
 April 20, 2021| 
  • Team News
Jackson_Lee (1200x455)
Birmingham, Ala. – The 2021 Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires season got underway at Barber Motorsports Park this past weekend, with Jay Howard Driver Development (JHDD) fielding cars in both the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship and the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.

The JHDD USF2000 squad, fresh from securing the drivers’ championship last season, showed promising signs throughout the event with rookies Jackson Lee and Peter Vodanovich both demonstrating encouraging speed and progression, while returning driver Bijoy Garg was unlucky not to secure better results after being caught up in an unfortunate incident in race two.

Making their series debut in Indy Pro 2000 as a team, JHDD were right on the pace immediately, with USF2000 Champion Christian Rasmussen and Wyatt Brichacek wasting little time in getting acquainted with their new machinery. Brichacek showed astonishing speed throughout the weekend as he had done in Spring Training, while Rasmussen was only denied victory on Sunday morning due to a blocking penalty after dominating the 30-lap race.

Team owner Jay Howard was keen to focus on the positives coming out of the opening Road to Indy event of the season, and with the second event coming up this weekend on the streets of St. Petersburg, the 2006 Indy Lights Champion is keen to stay focused on maximizing the team’s presence at the first street event of the season.

“It’s felt like a long off-season, so it was great to finally get back to racing here this weekend in Barber,” commented Howard. “There were some tough moments but also some real highlights for us to focus on as a team. Despite some tough luck, the USF2000 boys all showed really encouraging signs this weekend and I strongly believe they are only going to move forward from here. On the Indy Pro side, both Christian and Wyatt have shown great speed and that’s a testament to the team for putting quick race cars after having very little time to learn them. It’s a great thing that St. Pete is coming up this weekend, and we are looking forward to getting down to Florida and mixing it up. A big thanks to the whole team for all their efforts this weekend.”

WHAT THE USF2000 DRIVERS SAID:
#6 Bijoy Garg

Round 1 – DSQ; Round 2 – DNF

#8 Jackson Lee
Round 1 – P12; Round 2 – P14
“I had a lot of fun in my first USF2000 race weekend! On top of that, I would consider the weekend a success. I was able to pick up a lot of positions on a track notorious for not being able to pass on and make up for our bad luck in qualifying. This, along with being able to run laps faster than the leaders, gives me confidence going into St. Petersburg next weekend. Thanks to everyone at Jay Howard Driver Development for their hard work and support.”

#9 Peter Vodanovich
Round 1 – DNF; Round 2 – P23

“We had good speed, but unfortunately the results didn’t follow. I was down on power in qualifying, and had a sensor issue in Race 1, and got hit in Race 2. Salvaged what we could and fixed the car to get back out and managed to score a point for fastest lap. Plenty of positives to take away from the weekend and we will be stronger and faster at St Pete next week.”
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