Michael d'Orlando Tops the Charts at Road America
 June 21, 2022| 
  • Team News
HARTSDALE, N.Y. – It’s another victory for Michael d’Orlando in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship after an eventful weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. d’Orlando flexed his muscles with two pole positions and a dominating victory in the double-header event. The victory was just what he needed after an incident in the first main event resulted in a disappointing finish. He continues to retain the lead in the drivers’ points championship as the series shifts it's focus to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course at the end of this month.

Starting the weekend's main events, d'Orlando put down the fastest laps in each of the two qualifying sessions, earning him his second and third pole positions for the 2022 season. The task of leading a 21-car field to the green flag on the 4.014-mile 14-turn circuit is a daunting task, on a circuit known for its significant drafting qualities.

Race 1 was met with disappointment of a 14th-place result when contact sent him and his #4 Cape Motorsports machine off-track in a battle of the top four drivers. But his recovery in Race 2 was near perfect, albeit not without some challenges. 

Race 2 would include two safety cars and single file restarts, but it was the second safety car that would bring the drama when rain swiftly came rolling through mid-race. The finicky weather resulted in one area of the track in dangerously wet conditions and other areas slightly damp or almost dry conditions. The entire field was brought back into pit lane and lined up in order with d'Orlando still at the point while series officials determined how and if the race would continue in the ever-changing conditions. The wait felt like an eternity for the entire grid. Ultimately, the race did continue as the rain stopped and the track dried quickly. d'Orlando did not relinguish his position out front for the entire 12 laps and brought home his second victory, and fifth podium, of the season so far.

"The rain delay created an unnerving situation for everyone, but since I was leading the race there may have been a little extra pressure on me," explained d'Orlando. "After a wait like that, and then going out on track with unpredictable conditions, it can be very tough for anyone. I just took a few deep breaths and focused to keep my head about me for the restarts. I trusted the car and knew that the team (Cape Motorsports) put together a great car for me. I just had to also trust my instincts to keep me going for what ended up to be a two-lap showdown to the finish. How you adapt to tough conditions can make or break a race, and I'm happy with the win, of course. I'm disappointed in what happened in Race 1 but we are still leading the championship and I'm really looking forward to heading back to Mid-Ohio. It is my favorite track on the schedule."

Michael d’Orlando will return to action at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, on June 30-July 3.
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