Elkhart Lake, Wis. – Team Pelfrey’s Kaylen Frederick finished in fourth-place leading Robert Megennis and rookie Jacob Loomis throughout Rounds 7 and 8 of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda Championship. The trio fought the ever-changing weather conditions requiring the Pelfrey Power crew to focus on strategy as the weekend at Road America progressed.
Due to wet track conditions, the team debuted wet tires in the only practice session of the doubleheader weekend, however the damp conditions dissipated forcing the team to switch to slicks within a few laps into the 30-minute session. As the team transitioned into qualifying, Megennis secured sixth and eighth position for Race One and Race Two. Teammate Frederick settled with a twelfth and sixth starting grid position while Loomis finished just outside the top-10 for Race One and improved to ninth for Race Two.
In Race One, USF2000 rookie Loomis exhibited an impressive performance laying down a competitive fast lap on Lap 11 which was on par with podium finishers Rinus VeeKay, Calvin Ming, and Oliver Askew. Loomis placed just outside the top-10 in eleventh concluding his Mazda Road to Indy Championship debut. As the number of laps faded, Frederick and Megennis worked through the field catching Devin Wojcik of ArmsUp Motorsports on Lap 7, settling in the remainder of the contest to finish sixth and seventh respectively.
Race Two began with Megennis quickly catching two positions on the first lap, however struggled to find pace after running off course in Turn 13 after a fierce battle with Lucas Kohl on Lap 7. Megennis was required to make an unexpected pit stop to replace the missing front wing which dropped the No. 80 Palo Alto Networks machine to the back of the field for a 15th place finish. Loomis’ weekend ended abruptly on Lap 4 after Darren Keane of Newman Wachs Racing made contact with the No. 82 Optima Anesthesia Team Pelfrey Mazda in-between Turn 7 and 8. The contact resulted in both cars retiring early whereas the youngest member of the trio, Frederick scored the top-finish for the group with a fourth-place result.
The team is back in action next week as the signature yellow cars take on the .894-mile oval of Iowa Speedway July 8 and 9. Follow @TeamPelfrey on social media or use the hashtag #PelfreyPower to keep up with the action.
Robert Megennis (No. 80 Palo Alto Networks Team Pelfrey Mazda): Overall, I had a rough weekend at Road America. I started in sixth in Race One and ended seventh after some shifting issues in the race. In Race 2 I started in eighth and after gaining two positions on the first lap, I ended up getting driven off and losing my front wing. That put me to the back of a field and a lap down. Not the weekend we wanted, but I still improved every session and had a great time. Just going to focus on the positives and give it my all again next week when we go oval racing!”
Kaylen Frederick (No. 81 PILOT ONE Racing Team Pelfrey Mazda): Although we didn't have the best results, this weekend has been one of the best learning weekends I have had so far. I figured out a lot about myself and what I need to do to be successful moving forward. I'm excited to see what happens when I apply these techniques.”
Jacob Loomis (No. 82 Optima Anesthesia Team Pelfrey Mazda): “It was great to do my first Mazda Road to Indy race, especially with a team like Team Pelfrey. I felt the team helped me get up to speed very quickly, and made me feel very welcome. I am hopeful to be back running later this season.”