“They Said What?” USF2000 Edition
Sometimes when you stick a microphone in front of a driver’s face – especially when they’re mad, you have no clue what they may say and a couple of times you’ll hear something that surprises you or gives you a bit of a perspective.
Throughout the USF2000 season, there were quite a few of these moments. So it seems only fitting we take a glance back through the year at what was said.
It’s hard to say. I’d think someone I aspire to me, rather than hero, would be a James Hinchcliffe. I really admire the way he is off track with the character he is, and obviously he is successful on track too.
Colin Kaminsky on who his racing hero is
“For me, it’s a weight off of my shoulders because I’ve been close a few times, especially at St. Pete. It’s just like – I can’t describe it. There’s been a lot of doubt for me and myself over the past few years. So to get this close numerous times, like St. Pete, Indy and Road America; those races were all events that I finished second or was leading and something happened.
“It’s just a weight off the shoulders for me, and reassurance that I can do it. Hopefully now that I’ve been able to break through the barrier, I can get some more.”
Darren Keane on scoring his first career victory on the streets of Toronto
My favorite moment was definitely my first win in Toronto. That was a very cool weekend. It was the first win for me in the series, and first win for my team in the series. Obviously just my second time on a street course, but a track I’ve never been to before. I really enjoyed that weekend in general driving on the streets of Toronto between the concrete walls.
Christian Rasmussen on his favorite moment from the 2019 season
Everything. My whole life is dedicated to that. I’m trying to find the words chasing my dream, and that’s the exact dream that I am chasing. To be in IndyCar, there are so many people like me who have the same dream. But to have gotten to where I have right now, purely just from winning myself to this position with my supporters on my back, there’s no where else in the world that you can do that. In Europe, if you win a championship, you don’t get any reward. Nowhere really has this amazing ladder like America does, which kind of gives that real clear path to the top step. Oliver Askew is a perfect example of that; he’s literally won his way to an IndyCar seat. So for me, that’s exactly my plan.
Obviously I had a setback not winning the USF2000 Championship which is tough, but it’s not always a straight line. I’m sure there’s many many highs and there will be some more lows in the future, but the highs outweigh the lows and my goal is to continue the Road to Indy and hopefully one day be like Oliver. It’s possible if you’re good enough. We’ll see what the next few years have in store. I’m definitely going to be putting everything that I have and can into it, so we’ll see what happens. But that’s everything that I’m working for.
Hunter McElrea on what it’d mean to be in the NTT IndyCar Series one day
Robert Wickens. He had an incredible season last year, and even more than that, his determination to recover from his accident, he’s definitely my hero. What he’s done and what he represents as a person, and how he inspires everyone not only in racing, but his recovery. It’s truly inspiring to see what he has gone through.
Braden Eves on who is racing hero is
Self-confidence, I would say because going into St. Pete, I wasn’t sure about what to expect. I’ll be honest with you that after the first session, I started to feel that, ‘Oh, this feels good. I think we can do something here,’ because prior to St. Pete, I only did one and a half tests. After being away from the car and all that stuff, you have doubts. 2017 didn’t really go as well as I thought it would. So it was just a relief that I could be at the top of time sheet and be able to grab the pole a second faster than everybody; it really gave me a boost.
Then it led to Indy, which was a very tricky situation. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make the race, which I wouldn’t I would have been very upset about. I just kept my hopes high and worked very hard with everybody in the team. You have to work hard with those who believe in you as that’s how we were able to deliver the results that we did this year.
Alex Baron on the biggest thing he learned in 2018
There were a lot of fun ones. I’d probably go with the pole at the oval back in May. That was something that was really special to me because like I said, at the time, it was my first career pole. I was fifth to last to go in qualifying and I did my lap, and ran it clean. I even had a crash in practice earlier that day and the team worked their butts off to get it back together. So to put it on pole for them was really cool. I laid down my lap and I just had to sit there and wait for four more cars to see if they’d beat me, and they didn’t. So it was really cool for the team to get my first pole.
Colin Kaminsky on his favorite moment from the 2019 season
I believe that USF2000 is one of the best stepping stones that you can have for looking towards a racing career because of the ladder that takes you from USF to Indy Pro 2000 to Indy Lights, all the way to IndyCar. So there’s a definite ladder there so that’s why I decided to go with USF for my racing series.
“I think it’s a really special opportunity for me to be running with the IndyCar guys. My weekend in St. Pete was a bit of frustration because I broke down a lot. But I’ve watched some videos and started learning the track. I know from people telling me that it’s a bit of bumpy, but I’ll be ready for it.”
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