Making their Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Series debut on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Jay Howard’s Driver Development program was equally impressive on the track as their looks off of it. Nearly snatching a race win in their first attempt, their trio of drivers, Christian Rasmussen, Matthew Round-Garrido and Christian Bogle performed well on the tight confines of the barrier lined street course.
JHDD drivers came to race as Christian Rasmussen set the fastest lap of race two by nearly two tenths of a second while Matthew Round-Garrido was not far behind with the third fastest circuit. Rasmussen led the race and looked poised to score the race win but contact on the final corner of the final lap, denied him of the race win.
“Gut wrenching to see that happen, but that’s racing. We analyze, adjust, improve and move on to Indy,” explained Jay Howard. “We made a great first impression and have a lot of momentum heading into the next race. Our time will come.”
Round-Garrido looked as if he was a seasoned veteran driving from the tail end of the field to a ninth place result in the second wheel-to-wheel event on the weekend. After an electrical glitch hindered any chances of a strong qualifying effort, the Brit was able to score the honors of the biggest mover of the race.
The third JHDD driver and a street course rookie, Christian Bogle, had an impressive debut going on the weekend as a tenth place finish was on the horizon. Pushing for every last tenth of a second and trying to obtain one more on track position, Bogle made slight contact with the turn nine wall and was forced to retire only laps from the finish of race two.
Howard continued, “Overall, I am very happy with the team’s performance. No one expected us to be competitive in our first ever USF2000 race, especially at a place like St. Petersburg. We were more than competitive; we almost won and set fastest laps. It was a testament to the team as a whole, from the crew, drivers, parents, sponsors, and the hard work that has been put in. I’m proud of everyone and appreciate the hard work. I’m excited for the rest of the season.”
Jay Howard’s Driver Development program extends an extra special thank you to CSU One Cure, Pelican Energy, Lucas Oil and all of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Series team partners.
For more information on Jay Howard’s Driver Development program, please contact him via e-mail to Jay@JayHoward.com or visit him online at www.JayHoward.com.
Photo by: Jay Howard’s Driver Development