The weekend at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) may not have ended in a podium celebration for Jimmie Lockhart, but the 16-year-old from Florida succeeded in mastering one of the most important skills in motorsport, overtaking. Taking on the legendary facility, Lockhart competed in the USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires program as the series completed rounds six through eight.
Race one started off with Lockhart in the tenth position after a disappointing qualifying session, but it did not take long for the young rookie to muscle his way into the front-field battle. With five positions gained and setting the fastest lap of the race early on, Lockhart was preparing to fight until the end. Due to a spin from the driver in front, the VRD Racing driver gained two additional places as he advanced to P3 as the race continued on. Unfortunately, with nine laps to go, Lockhart was put off the track and the yellow flags were flying. Returning to the race and running tenth, Lockhart was able to advance forward six positions to P4 in just one lap, but the ending wasn’t as sweet. In the closing stages, Lockhart was dropped to 11th on the results sheet.
Race two began with Lockhart from the outside of row five in the tenth position as he would once again look to march his way forward. Throughout the 15-lap affair, Lockhart was able to advance and at one point gained more positions than any other driver on track before crossing the stripe in the sixth position after 15 wheel-to-wheel racing laps.
With race two fast times setting the grid for race three, Lockhart started on the outside of the front row and was aiming for a podium finish. With the yellow flag flying for a spin by a fellow competitor, Lockhart lost one position on the restart before regaining it a lap later. Challenging for the lead, the VRD Racing driver was knocked down to the fifth position but never gave up.
“Race three provided us with our best result as I was determined to see what we could do for a podium finish,” explained Lockhart. “I moved to fourth with a few laps to go and while I focused on defending from the fifth-place driver, I could not put any pressure on the driver in front and eventually crossed the stripe in fourth, earning my best result of the weekend.”
Throughout the three races, Jimmie Lockhart made 21 on-track passes to leave VIRginia International Raceway as a proven threat.
Lockhart added, “I am ready for the next events after the amount of overtaking I did this weekend. I feel extremely confident for what’s to come.”
Stay tuned to the Jimmie Lockhart social media pages for news, information, photos, and results from the 2023 season. For more information on Jimmie Lockhart, please visit him via his social media pages by searching Jimmie Lockhart Racing.
Photo Credit: Gavin Baker Photography