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The annual Carb Night Classic and a trip to the Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park ended with a top-five result for USF Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires team TJ Speed. Leading the way on the results sheet was Italian Francesco Pizzi as his fourth-place result moved him to third in the championship points table as the season approaches the halfway mark.

It was Pizzi who led the trio of drivers in qualifying as he turned the fourth fastest two lap average in Thursday evening’s qualifying session. Teammate and fellow USF Pro 2000 rookie Christian Weir netted a top-ten result and rolled off the grid for Friday’s Carb Night Classic after a strong ninth-place effort in qualifying while Nicholas Monterio slotted into the 13th position.

“It was a decent qualifying for us, but it was so tight on the time sheet,” explained TJ Speed’s Tim Neff. “A tenth of a second could have been two or three positions further up or down in qualifying and that was the difference between qualifying tenth and third. It should be a great race tomorrow night.”

Returning to the track on Friday, a short 15-minute practice led into the Freedom 90. Taking the green flag just after 9:30pm in front of packed grandstands, it was Pizzi who battled in the top-three early on as he challenged for the win. Falling victim to lapped traffic late in the race, Pizzi lost one position while trying to advance his way forward and crossed the line fourth, as the race ended under the caution flag. Nicholas Monterio completed the full-race distance in his first USF Pro 2000 event to finish 13th, a solid drive after not being in a race car for quite some time and joining TJ Speed just prior to the event weekend.

Christian Weir had a strong race going as he battled well inside the top-ten. Racing his way forward and poised for one of his best USF Pro 2000 results, Weir had heavy contact with the outside turn-four wall, ending his day.

Neff added, “It was a shame for Christian to end his race the way he did. He was having such a strong run and was moving forward. We will get his car fixed, back together, and ready for Road America. Thankfully he is ok and will be back better and stronger.”

Next up for the USF Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires will be a trip north to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, and the famed 4.048-mile, 14-turn Road America.

For more information on TJ Speed or to contact Tim Neff, please email or by phone at 321.508.6348. TJ Speed can also be found online on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by searching “TJ Speed” or by visiting their website,

Photo Credit: RTD Media

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