Michael d'Orlando Getting into the Groove
 May 26, 2022| 
  • Team News
HARTSDALE, N.Y. – The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship battle has begun and Michael d’Orlando is back in action at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park this week looking to repeat his victory at the Cooper Tires Freedom 75. Heading in to LOIRP, d’Orlando currently sits third in the drivers' championship, just two points back of the lead following solid performances at St. Petersburg, Barber Motorsports Park and the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway Grand Prix circuit. 

After equipment troubles in qualifying at St Pete and two solid recoveries in the main events, d'Orlando’s double podium results (a second and a third) at Barber showed his undeniable race craft and ability to overcome a tough qualifying session. The solid performance put him tied in the drivers’ championship heading into IMS.

The scene at IMS was one of the most competitive and action-packed events in the USF2000 series in recent history. d’Orlando started in the fifth spot for the first race of the triple header, and lineup inside row-2 in the third slot for each of the following two races. Unfortunately, the two championship points leaders (including d’Orlando) tangled in Race 1 for a disappointing 21st place result.

Taking the lead in the early laps of Race 2, d’Orlando set a solid race pace to manage pressure from his teammate closely behind. However, contact from behind with just three laps to go set him into a spin and off the end of the straightaway. He ultimately regained control quickly and fought back to finish fifth to salvage valuable championship points.

Race 3 was an almost identical event to Race 2, except without the drama. Quickly slotting into the second spot he continued to manage the pressure from behind and the gap to the leader throughout the event, bringing home his fourth podium of the season in second place.

“The year has been a little bit of a rollercoaster for me, with the issues in qualifying and on-track incidents, but we have shown competitive pace and solid results in the top five in all races except one (at Indy)," says d'Orlando.  "I’m proud of how we’ve been performing this year and have had the best start to a season in my USF2000 career. There is still a lot of racing left and I’m looking forward to returning to the oval at LOIRP for the Freedom 75 this weekend and continue to see what we can bring to the rest of the season.”

d’Orlando will be on track at LOIRP this Thursday and Friday, May 26 & 27, for the only oval event on the USF2000 series schedule. He swept this event in 2021 and looks to regain valuable Championship points with this event worth 1.5x points for a single race.  The Carb Night Classic Freedom 75/Freedom 90 are the highlight of the week leading up to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES’ running of the 106th Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
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