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FIELD AND STEPHENS PUT ON SHOW IN PLATINUM, GRP SWEEPS PRO 1500 WHILE HYETT AND ALMEIDA SPLIT PRO 1340 TO CLOSE BARBER EVENT WEEKEND

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For the first time in 2024, Radical Cup North America joined the NTT INDYCAR SERIES at the picturesque Barber Motorsports Park. After a significant amount of testing on Thursday followed by qualifying and Race #1 on Friday, two more races were completed Saturday. When the dust had finally settled, and trophies were awarded, Jon Field and Michai Stephens picked up wins in Platinum, Nicholas d’Orlando and Jordan Missig climbed to the top of the podium in Pro 1500 while the Pro 1340 victories went to PJ Hyett and Suellio Almeida. However, it may have been Raiden Nicol who impressed the most.

PLATINUM CLASS
Race #2
Jon Field led the Radical Cup North America field to the green flag for race two courtesy of his fastest lap in race one with Friday’s winner Michai Stephens flanked to his right. Chip Romer and Wayne Williams occupied row two with Clint Field starting fifth on the grid.

Jon Field got the jump on Michai Stephens into turn one, while Clint Field made a big move forward early on, jumping to P3 before a caution came out for a car stopped on the front straight, bunching the field back up. Williams, in the fourth position, was behind the second of two Fields, just ahead of David Alban in fifth. When the green flag flew, it was an epic battle between Jon Field and Michai Stephens for the win, with the pair finishing less than .160 from one another and Field taking the win. In an unbelievable last lap, Field drove almost entirely with a defensive line while Stephens tried several outside passes. In the end, Field and Stephens were joined on the podium by Clint Field in third with Louis Schriber and David Alban rounding out the top-five. Louis Schriber earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award for his efforts starting 34th on the grid and finishing fourth overall. 

Race #3
A scheduling conflict kept Jon Field from taking the start of race three, handing the pole to Michai Stephens, who led Clint Field, Williams, Schriber, and Romer to the green. In a race featuring a mandatory pit stop, Stephens would control the field out front and run flag-to-flag to take the win ahead of Schriber, who stood on the podium for the first time this weekend. Clint Field rounded out the podium with a solid drive to P3 as Romer advanced one position through the pit stop cycle to finish fourth. David Alban and Wayne Williams crossed the line fifth and sixth in the Platinum class.

PRO 1500
Race #2
Primal Racing’s Raiden Nicol began his quest for another podium from the Pro 1500 class pole position while Graham Rahal Performance’s Nicholas d’Orlando– Friday’s winner– started second. Danny Dyszelski, who had a disastrous Saturday, was looking to turn his weekend around by rolling off the grid from third in class, while Evan Slater and Jordan Missig rounded out the top-five.

Nicol jumped to the point early as d’Orlando slotted in behind him, while a moment for Dyszelski shuffled him backward. Slater and Missig took advantage of Dyszelski’s misfortunes and moved forward to third and fourth respectively with Spencer Schmidt advancing to fifth in class before the first caution. When drivers were back racing, it was d’Orlando who made his move back to the lead squeezing by Missig and Nicol, who misjudged the restart to open the door. Dyszelski also began his march back forward and into the top-five, but the Graham Rahal Performance duo was too strong for him to contend for the win. d’Orlando managed to hold off Missig for the victory taking the top spot by .317 while Dyszelski celebrated his first podium of the weekend in third. Evan Slater pushed Dyszelski to the very last corner but had to settle for fourth, just ahead of Spencer Schmidt who completed a top-five in a nose-to-tail battle lasting all race long. It was a strong race too for Mike Anzaldi who took home the Pro 1500 Gold class win.

Race #3
Raiden Nicol jumped to the early Pro 1500 lead of the mandatory pit stop race, ahead of the GRP drivers of Missig and d’Orlando followed by Dyszelski and Corey Neveau. With speed on the track as well as perfection in the pits, Jordan Missig scored his fourth win of the season and the best result of the weekend in a solid performance for the GRP team bringing young d’Orlando with him to second. Early race leader Nicol fell to third during the stops but managed to add another podium result in his impressive series debut. The trio crossed under the checkered flag bumper-to-bumper-to-bumper to close the weekend.

PRO 1340
Race #2
RySpec Racing’s Sueillo Almeida led the Pro 1340 class to the green flag for the first wheel-to-wheel action of the day as Saturday’s race winner PJ Hyett started second. Championship leader Chris McMurry lined up third on the grid with Blake McGovern and Benjamin Blander in fourth and fifth respectively.

McMurry was able to get by Almeida early and take the lead of the Pro 1340 class before the caution flag flew. Almeida was just ahead of Blake McGovern, Keith McGovern, and Eric Griffin but when they went back to green flag racing, Hyett rose back to the top. Scoring his second win in as many days, PJ Hyett beat Blake McGovern by just over two seconds in the run to the checkered after a great on-track battle with Almeida battling for a hard-fought third-place result. Keith McGovern was the best of the rest in fourth finishing just ahead of the fifth-place finisher of Carl Fredrikson. Race one winner and early race leader Chris McMurry finished seventh after the rear wing broke away on his machine after five laps up front. Showing the strength in the Pro 1340 class, the front three drivers were battling hard with the back of the Pro 1500 class for track position.

Race #3
Hyett led the Pro 1340 class early in race three with Blake McGovern and Almeida in second and third before an early race caution for a car that was stuck in the tire barriers. In a race that featured a mandatory pit stop, it was the CROWN with APEX program that rose to the top with the #2 entry of Chris McMurry, just ahead of Suellio Almeida. However yet again McMurry was dealt a post-race time penalty, rewarding Almeida- the sim star come real-world driver- and RySpec Racing with their first win of the season. This also elevated the McGoverns of Blake and Keith to second and third, meaning CROWN with APEX salvaged two podium positions. Chris McMurry was dropped to fourth in the final tally ahead of PJ Hyett.

“We had pack racing in all three classes throughout the weekend,” explained Tom Drewer. “It’s fantastic to see our drivers and teams compete on the same level, track, and weekend as the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and, wow, did they put on a show. We can’t wait to do it again at Road America, where we anticipate another record grid.”

Radical Cup North America events are open to local and regional Radical racers of all ages with eligible cars to participate. More information, including links to register for events and obtain licensing, can be found at www.radicalmotorsport.com. Stay tuned to the Radical Cup social media pages for the latest series news and updates.

Photo Credit: RTD Media

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