Cape Motorsports’ Kirkwood Ties Single Season Win Record
 September 13, 2018| 
  • Team News
Cape-USF-Portland-Kirkwood

PORTLAND, Ore.  – In 2006, Cape Motorsports scored one of their 13 USF2000 championships while fielding a Van Diemen for young up-and-coming American talent J.R. Hildebrand. The future IndyCar driver won a record 12 races en route to the title that year.

This season, Cape Motorsports repeated that feat with Kyle Kirkwood, who matched the incredible accomplishment in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, completing his fourth weekend sweep of the season at the Grand Prix of Portland on Labor Day weekend. The 20-year-old from Jupiter, Florida had already clinched the championship at Mid-Ohio in late July, and this performance capped a virtually perfect season of competition in the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires.

“Portland was an awesome race weekend to cap off our 13th USF2000 Championship and eighth straight,” exclaimed Dominic Cape, co-owner of Cape Motorsports. “This weekend, everyone on the team showed up to work, and we are very proud of the way the guys performed in every phase of the event. They traveled well, they prepared well and they executed well. Kyle performed at the top of his game in his usual aggressive style and swept his fifth straight weekend, and won the championship by whopping 202 points, we couldn’t be happier.

“It’s been a wonderful two seasons since the introduction of the Tatuus USF2000,” the duo continued. “Two championships, 19 race wins, 24 top 3’s, and 15 poles. We are also very proud of finishing second in the Team Championship for two consecutive years whilst campaigning only one car each season against three- and four-car teams. It’s an extraordinary record and, as a team, we can’t wait to get 2019 started.”

The Capes and Kirkwood began the Portland finale with two test sessions on Thursday, but with the championship already locked, they elected not to burn through new tires although remained in the top-six on the speed charts. Kirkwood continued to improve his pace through Friday morning practice and advanced to third in the order, but Cape Motorsports was simply evolving their set-up. In qualifying for Race 1, Kyle laid down a strong lap near the tail end of the 20-minute session to top the charts for the first time on the weekend, earning the pole position for the first race of the doubleheader. In qualifying for Race 2, he timed in third quickest to grab a spot on the inside of row two.

In the opening event, which took place mid-day on Saturday, Kirkwood put his #8 Firstex-sponsored USF-17 to the front at the beginning of the second lap and then held the lead through a lap 20 restart to garner a 2.018-second victory. It was his 11th win of the year.

In his bid to tie Hildebrand’s all-time win record, Kirkwood started from the inside of the second row for the final race of the 2018 season, held late Sunday afternoon. The 20-year-old Floridian held to the inside of the track during the first run down to Festival Curve and slotting into third behind Rasmus Lindh and Kaylen Frederick. A full course caution flew immediately for a turn one incident and on the ensuing start, Frederick got into the back of Lindh which forced Kirkwood to take the escape route through the barriers, where he emerged in second.  When the race went back to green, Kyle chased down Lindh and took the lead at the start of lap seven, eventually pulling away to a 1.982-second triumph. It was his 12th win of the year, and his fifth straight weekend sweep.

Cape Motorsports is already looking forward to the 2019 season and the Chris Griffis Memorial Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on September 22-23.  The team will make a significant adjustment in their focus heading into next season, as they have sold off their inventory of Pro Mazda PM-18s in favor of dedicating themselves to a three-car USF2000 team for the foreseeable future. Drivers interested in steering Cape Motorsports to their ninth straight USF2000 series championship should call one of the following numbers:

Race Shop: 727-526-5599

Dominic Cape: 727-515-4470

Nicholas Cape: 727-593-4079

CAPE MOTORSPORTS – DRIVER RESULTS / QUOTE

USF2000 – ROUNDS 13-14 – AUGUST 31 – SEPTEMBER 2, 2018

PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY – PORTLAND, OR

KYLE KIRKWOOD - #8

Qualifying 1: 1st – 1:10.9581

Qualifying 2: 3rd – 1.10.8263

Race 1: Start – 1st / Finish - 1st

Race 2: Start – 3rd / Finish - 1st

Driver Quote: “What a great way to finish off our season with another sweep. We weren’t all that quick in the practices due to not running new tires. Although we were confident that once we put tires on we would be quick again, and that showed once we went into qualifying. The Cape guys, like they have done all year, put me on rails and provided me a race winning car, so a massive thanks to the Cape Motorsports crew.”

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