Strong Performance at Indianapolis GP for Keane
 May 14, 2018| 
  • Team News
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course staged Rounds 3 and 4 of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and saw Darren Keane, driver of the No. 36 Newman Wachs machine, race his way forward and come up just shy in pursuit of another podium in Saturday’s race.

The USF2000 event, which ran in conjunction with the Verizon IndyCar Grand Prix weekend, was another remarkably competitive event as a large 26-car field of USF2000 drivers all battled around the 2.439-mile road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Keane was primed for a solid weekend after posting lap times that were consistent with the top three during Thursday’s two test sessions prior to the official practice run on Thursday afternoon.

Friday staged both qualifying sessions which set the grid for races 3 & 4 of the series.  

Adjusting to the tire wear through the session, Keane settled with an 11th and ninth place starting position but was still confident in the race pace of his No. 36 Newman Wachs machine.

A quick turnaround on Friday saw just over two hours between the final qualifying session and the first race of the weekend. Starting on the inside of the sixth row, Keane had a great jump at the start but an early race incident between himself and a fellow competitor left his car suffering from a broken wing, forcing him to pit for repairs. Without giving up, Keane returned on track and completed the first race 23rd.

Saturday was a new day as Keane put the events from the previous race out of his mind as he looked to close in on another podium result. Keane pounced at the start and subsequent restart to make as much ground as he could. 

Picking cars off one by one, Keane moved up six positions to run in third as he hoped to return to the UF2000 podium. 

Keane pulled several car lengths on the car sitting in fourth, but a late race full course caution brought the 26 car field to another nose-to-tail restart. Doing everything in his power to defend for the last spot on the podium, Keane came up just short but was still happy to settle with a fourth-place finish after making so much progress in the closing laps of the race. 

“This weekend went pretty well,” said Keane of his second year back at IMS. “I thought our race went well on Saturday. I had to defend as much as I got to pass, so there was a lot going on the entire time! We are now sixth in the championship and only two points off of fourth, so I think as long as we have some strong finishes ahead of us we will be in good shape. I just want to thank all of the Newman Wachs guys and my coach Ozz Negri for helping me throughout the weekend.”

With only a short break in-between events, Keane will return to Indianapolis for Rounds 5 & 6 which will be staged at Lucas Oil Raceway on May 25.
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