Newman Wachs Racing Earns Top Five Finish at Indy
 May 17, 2018| 
  • Team News
NWR Indy Recap 2018

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – After a two-month hiatus, Newman Wachs Racing was back on-track at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Rounds 3 and 4 of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. Sophomore series driver Darren Keane bounced back from an incident in the opening race to score a strong fourth in Race 2, which has put him into sixth in the series point standings. Rookie Oscar DeLuzuriaga muscled his way forward in Race 2 to score his best finish of the year in the 13th position, while freshman David Osborne’s luck was not as positive, as after finishing 15th in Race 1, he was taken out late in the second race while again running in the top-15.

“Overall, it wasn't that bad of a weekend, although I think that we were all expecting a bit more out in qualifying with made things tough from the beginning,” offered Brian Halahan, NWR Team Manager. “Darren had a little bit of bad luck in the first race and had to come in the pits, so we used the remaining time as a bit of a test session for Race 2. I was pleased with Darren’s driving in the second race when he took P4, because with a last lap restart like that, it could have ended in a lot of different ways. I was disappointed to see David taken off the track in the second race because, unfortunately, it would likely have ended as a top-10 finish for him. Oscar is still progressing and making improvements every time he has gotten in the car.  I'm very proud that he has completed every lap of every session and he topped off the weekend with 13th place finish, which we are all very proud of.”

The cars unloaded looking very racy in testing and official practice, but qualifying turned out to be a bit of a struggle, leaving the team’s drivers to fight their way to the front. Keane began the event on a high note in the Friday’s open test and official practice session, running within the top-five, but he lost some pace in the separate qualifying sessions for Race 1 and 2. The Florida driver timed in 11th for Race 1 and ninth for Race 2.

In the opening race on Friday afternoon, Keane was quickly into the top-10, but his day took a turn for the worse when he was run into by another driver in turn four, knocking him off track and forcing him to hit pit lane for a new front wing. Darren lost two laps in the process and finished a disappointing 23rd in the final tally. Race 2 featured a standard chaotic USF2000 start, but Keane was able to capitalize on this action and move up the order quickly. The 18-year-old American was embroiled in a couple of thrilling battles, and would finish the race in fourth, his second top-five of the year. The result advanced Darren to sixth in the standings, just 13 points out of third.

Osborne’s weekend started off on a positive road as the Columbus, Ohio rookie got quicker and quicker every practice session, but just like Keane, had two tough qualifying sessions. In Race 1, Osborne steered clear of all the chaos, working his way from 21st up to 15th, his best finish of the year. In the second race of the doubleheader, David was again picking off cars one by one but was ultimately was knocked off-track by an overzealous competitor who was not able to complete an ambitious overtaking attempt. David finished 20th in the official classification, after being pulled from the gravel trap during a full-course caution period.

DeLuzuriaga came into the event with a focus on development, and he continued to work on his racecraft, getting faster and faster through every session. Each on-track opportunity gave him the chance to and get more comfortable with the car and the IMS layout. In both races, Oscar stayed out of trouble during the opening laps and was rewarded with finishes of 20th and 13th.  The top-15 in Race 2 was a massive accomplishment and shows how much he is progressing. Over the four races run thus far, Oscar has finished every race and has completed 78 of the 80 race laps.

The team and drivers now head to Wisconsin for an oval test at LaCrosse Speedway, before returning to Indianapolis for their only oval race of the year at the banked 0.686-mile Lucas Oil Raceway on May 24-25. This will the first time on an oval for all three drivers, so there will be a lot of learning taking place. Having three drivers under the tent will provide a great deal of data to work from and the team is confident that they can achieve positive results.

NEWMAN WACHS RACING – DRIVER RESULTS AND QUOTES

USF2000 – ROUNDS 3/4 – MAY 10-12, 2018

INDYCAR GP – INDIANAPOLIS, IN

DARREN KEANE - #36

Qualifying 1: 11th – 1:25.510

Qualifying 2: 9th – 1:25.758

Race 1: Start – 11th / Finish – 23rd  

Race 2: Start – 9th / Finish – 4th

Driver Quote: “Overall, I’m happy with the way the weekend finished. Friday was a little bit rough, especially getting taken out a couple laps into the race, but I feel that we salvaged some pretty good points on Saturday and I’m happy to be coming away from this weekend sixth in the championship, just four points out of the fourth spot. Also, I’m happy with the progress that Newman Wachs Racing and I have made as a team. We’re a lot closer to our competitors at the front since St. Pete and I feel that we will dig a little bit deeper to start challenging for a win and I’m confident we’ll get to where we need to be. I look forward to my first time on an oval at Lucas Oil Raceway in two weeks. Road America and Toronto are two of my favorite races that will follow and I’m confident I will earn points towards the championship. Huge thanks to everyone at Newman Wachs Racing and Ozz Negri for all their constant support. Look for us to return even stronger.”

DAVID OSBORNE - #37

Qualifying 1: 21st – 1:26.111

Qualifying 2: 20th – 1:26.635  

Race 1: Start – 21st / Finish – 15th

Race 2: Start – 20th / Finish – 20th

Driver Quote: "This weekend was definitely not what I was expecting coming in. Despite not having been in the car since St. Petersburg, I was confident that I would be able to return to a familiar track and with competitive lap times. In the end, I really struggled to find the pace here in Indy as I dealt with some braking issues (which were sorted out) and a new set-up that I struggled to adapt to. During the races, I found at least some competitive edge and was able to move up six places in Race 1, and five in Race 2 before being taken off by another car. I’m really looking forward to forgetting this weekend and putting all of my focus on the next event."

OSCAR DELUZURIAGA - #38

Qualifying 1: 25th – 1:26.599

Qualifying 2: 25th – 1:27.199

Race 1: Start – 25th / Finish – 20th

Race 2: Start – 25th / Finish – 13th

Driver Quote: “The weekend was fantastic! The sheer atmosphere and history behind Indy is insane and I really got a feeling for it all when racing there. It was so much fun and I learned a lot. I’m really excited for the oval race next!”

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