Nepveu Back on the Podium at Road America
 June 13, 2022| 
  • Team News
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ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - It was a very satisfying event at the prestigious Road America track in Elkhart Lake. Thomas Nepveu claimed a top-five and a third-place finish in the two Saturday Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship races.

While the practice and qualifying sessions didn't go as expected, the DEForce Racing team and Thomas Nepveu bounced back in the races. In the first qualifying session ahead of race 1, Thomas could only set the 14th fastest time and the ninth fastest time in the second session.

Not to be deterred by the speed problems in qualifying, Thomas got a great start in the day's first race, making some impressive overtakes in the opening laps. Moving from 14th to sixth place in just five laps, Thomas showed that he belonged on the podium. Attempting a final pass for fifth place, he eventually had to settle for sixth place on the track, but fifth in the final standings after a penalty was awarded to a driver in front.

"The first race went very well," said the driver of the #10 Cromwell | Pétrole Bélanger | Home Hardware | Karting Excellence car. "I made some good overtakes, which made us finish sixth. We could have been aiming for fourth or fifth place, but there was an accident in front of me, and I made a bad decision when I tried to avoid it when I was in fifth place, which made me lose time. I was very happy with the car and our speed as we started 14th and moved up to sixth."

The day's second race went even better for the young Oka, Que., native, as he climbed on the third step of the podium after making another series of impressive passes in a short amount of laps. "Unfortunately, we ran out of laps in the second race! I wish it had been longer so I could have fought for second place, but I am thrilled with my result. We had a good start and restarts despite difficult conditions, especially with the rain coming in."

Indeed, the rain arrived early in the race, on lap 7, then a red flag made the drivers return to the pits. Thomas did tremendously well, considering the race was cut short, with only three laps on the green flag at the end.

"We didn't execute very well as a team in the two qualifying sessions," said Coy Arbour, Thomas' coach. "But DEForce Racing gave Thomas a great car for both races, and he drove two brilliant races, stepping on the podium in the process. Once again, valuable points in the bank!"

Thomas is now seventh in the driver's championship, five points out of sixth place! The next event will be at Mid-Ohio for a tripleheader from June 30 to July 3. 
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