Sick Tea Racing Scores Valuable USF2000 Points at Milwaukee Mile
 June 23, 2011| 
  • Team News
USF2000-news

Megenbier converts best qualifying result to date into top-seven finish

 

MELROSE PARK, ILL. (June 23, 2011) – Rookie two-liter squad Sick Tea Racing continued its progression up the junior formula car ranks on Sunday (June 19) by scoring a strong seventh place result at the sixth round of the Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda. American up-and-comer Timmy Megenbier showed improved speed and racecraft in what was only his second-ever oval race, turning in a rewarding point-scoring effort at the historic Milwaukee Mile.

 

Megenbier ran wheel-to-wheel with the series’ top drivers, those running for veteran teams, signaling the continuing development of his team.

 

Running in conjunction with the IZOD IndyCar Series at the Milwaukee Mile, this was another opportunity for Megenbier to run in front of the full IndyCar community. The goal early on for the Sick Tea squad was to get acclimated to the often-treacherous high-speed oval that is located within the Wisconsin Fairgrounds. Megenbier had been able to squeeze in a test at a local short track before this trip to Milwaukee, and the outing helped increase his level of comfort behind the wheel, and it showed when they rolled the car off the trailer for the promoter’s test session on Thursday. The focus was on steadily gaining speed, gathering data, and developing the handling of the car, and with Megenbier working closely with new race engineer Don Connor, each and every session brought excellent feedback and successful adjustments. Megenbier was a solid seventh on the timecharts during the practice on Friday, having improved his best lap time by close to half a second over the course of the prior two days.

 

With each racer taking two flying laps in qualifying, both being combined to set the grid for race six on the USF2000 calendar, the key to success was to not only be fast, but also consistent. Piloting the No. 17 Sick Tea/Caputo/Rahal Foods Van Diemen, Megenbier’s new found comfort level and confidence fueled his best qualifying result to date in the highly-competitive series, as he laid down the fifth best two-lap time. As a result, the 19 year-old would start the race on the inside of the third row.

 

When the Sick Tea Racing crew returned to the Milwaukee Mile on Sunday morning, everyone under the team awning was excited to get the action underway and build on the strong qualifying run. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other ideas, as a morning rain shower delayed the start of the second and final oval race of the 2011 campaign until the early evening, after both the IndyCar Series race and Star Mazda Championship race had been completed. When the green flag did final drop, Megenbier was immediately part of a heated multi-car fight for positions third through seventh. Battling not only the winners of early-season races, but lapped traffic as well, Megenbier was in contention for a top-five finish until the closing stages of the race. The talented Illinois racer ultimately crossed the stripe in seventh, matching his best oval result to date, earning valuable championship points in the process. Being able to dice it up with the championship leaders signals good things for the team for the remainder of the season.

 

“I’m very pleased with our performance this weekend, as we showed that we can run with the top teams, and that’s awesome,” Megenbier enthused. “We’re a new team, and too improve as we had says a great deal for our potential. We made consistently correct changes to the car all week and had we not been delayed until after the IndyCar and Star Mazda races, I think our set-up would have given us even a little more. We made a front wing change that hurt my corner speed when I was in the draft, and that’s where I was all race, so I had to battle a push anytime I closed on another car. It’s fine, though, as it’s just another step on my learning curve. I want to look at the positives. We stayed out of trouble in both oval races, learned a ton, and now I’m ready to head back to the road courses. I can’t wait to get to Mid-Ohio.”

 

Sick Tea Racing and Megenbier now have a multi-week hiatus until reuniting with the IZOD IndyCar Series on August 5-6, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Entering Rounds Seven and Eight of the Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda, Sick Tea Racing is sixth in the Team Championship standings, while Megenbier is tied for eighth in the championship chase.

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