Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

Weekend Recap- Indianapolis

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted June 1, 2010 at 3:30 pm Star Mazda, U.S. F2000 National Championship

What Was Good

  • The crowd for the ‘Night Before the 500’ event was outstanding.  By all reports, the spectators were very enthusiastic and the grandstands were packed.
  • Patrick McKenna – McKenna topped every test session at ORP on May 5-6 and drove to an impressive victory in the USF2000 race last weekend.  He did a great job managing his tires and moving through lap traffic, especially when you factor in that this was his first oval event.
  • Conor Daly- Noblesville, Indiana’s Conor Daly was extremely impressive in the Star Mazda race.  He has three consecutive wins – a hat trick – and rumor has it that hats were thrown onto the track following his victory.
  • USAC’s Live Feed from UStream – No need to say more, it was great to see the event streamed live.
  • Star Mazda Start – The start of the Star Mazda race was absolutely incredible.  The cars were bunched up inches away from each other and some how made it through the opening lap without incident.  The cars were stacked so close together that it looked like a go-kart race.
  • USAC winner Tanner Swanson- Swanson beat his older brother Kody in the Saturday night main event, it was Tanner’s first outing at ORP.

What Wasn’t So Good

  • Mark Jaynes and Kevin Lee did a pretty decent job but there were a few instances where they were so busy talking about the Indy 500 and the Indy Lights Freedom 100 that they missed some excellent racing action in the USF2000 and Star Mazda races.  The USF2000 and Star Mazda pilots need all the exposure they can get, so you hate to see a potential marketing opportunity lost.  In fairness, they were probably instructed to focus on building up the excitement for Sunday’s big race rather than focus exclusively on the event in front of them. Both did a relatively solid job considering they were outside their regular area of expertise.
  • Daniel Bedford’s exit from the racetrack on the backstretch at ORP during the USAC race. I believe Bedford’s USAC car hit a parked street car in the incident, fortunately no one was injured.
  • Lack of passing. Apart from a few side-by-side battles at the beginning of both the USF2000 and Star Mazda races, the races were relatively boring.  Several competitors ran single file through the entire race.  Iowa should be much better.
  • It was disappointing to see the Star Mazda race end prematurely due to time constraints, not to mention the fact that it ended under caution. Nobody wants to see that, although Conor Daly didn’t seem to mind.
  • Lack of cars.


  1. Al Johnson on June 1, 2010 4:00 pm

    no cars is right!! A total of 24 cars with star mazda and usf2000 combined! Weak!

  2. RJ on June 1, 2010 6:33 pm

    I was there Saturday night and lack of cars was a bit of a downer. That being said, probably 1/3 to 1/4 of the crowd left after the Star Mazda race. Hope to see more passing next year.

  3. JimmyT on June 2, 2010 7:19 am

    Sort of disgusting FILS could only find 16 cars for..THE SPEEDWAY!

    Back in the day (3 years ago) there would have been nearly double.

    Not to mention 15 years ago F2000 was sending people home at IRP and running heat races that were live on ESPN2

  4. Doug on June 2, 2010 9:52 am

    I thought the racing in both the USF2000 and Star Mazda was pretty good. McKenna and Karam had an epic battle for the majority of the USF2000 race, and the battle behind them between Veach and Goikhberg was really good, too. Vautier and Krohn slicing their way back up through the field after starting from the back of the grid in the Star Mazda race was exciting as well. I thought it was a very enjoyable evening of racing.

  5. Badger dude on June 2, 2010 5:39 pm

    Hey, I think it was a great start for a first year series(USF2000). Doug makes some great points about the Karam/McKenna and Veach/Goikhberg battles. The start and pass for the lead was as good and exciting as it gets.
    I just think Star Mazda is just suffering from the sign of the times.
    Don’t be surprised to see both series take another dip in car count before it goes up. I know at Laguna Seca, several of the Pacific F2000 guys were giving USF2000 a strong look for next year.
    Suggestion – If I were a Star team owner, I’d offer free testing laps to the winner of some USF2000 races to build a relationship with the USF2000 drivers. The same should be said for FIL owners and Star race winners.
    Were there any lights owners at the ORP event other than Sam Schmidt?
    Congrats to both winners, Daly (Juncos) and McKenna (Cape).

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