Cape Motorsports Scores Trio of Top 10 Finishes in Oval Battle
 May 30, 2019| 
  • Team News
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CLERMONT, Ind. – Cape Motorsports brought their trio of young Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires drivers to the 5/8-mile banked Lucas Oil Raceway last weekend for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship component of the annual Carb Night Classic.

As part of the events surrounding the iconic Indianapolis 500, Braden Eves, Darren Keane and Reece Gold competed in the Freedom 75 events at the facility, which is located just miles from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

Gold led the team in qualifying, as the impressive 14-year-old was quickly up to speed in his first experience on an oval, timing in third quickest.  Eves qualified 12th and would make the team’s biggest jump, advancing to fifth by the end of the 75-lap contest. The top-five results allowed Eves to maintain his lead in the championship standings heading to the next event at the end of June.  Keane had a solid outing, maintain his starting position to finish seventh despite being in the middle of hard-fought battles all night.  Gold was incredibly impressive, running side-by-side with other drivers on the high-side throughout the race, and he completed his night with a season’s best eighth-place finish.

“The month of May is now over…what a whirlwind of racing,” offered Dominic and Nicholas Cape, team owners. “Lucas Oil Raceway seems so simple - two corners and a couple of straights - how hard could that be! Oh boy, it’s a tough field of drivers with some seriously good teams. If you’re off a little, you’re mid-pack, that's how close it is. There's no wankers in this group.”

“Reece did an awesome job in qualifying third on his first oval, hitting all his marks and spring-boarding him into a great race, having to duke it out for the full 75 laps,” continued the multi-time championship-winning sibling duo. “Darren and Braden had a tougher time in qualifying, Darren started sixth and Braden was 12th.  Braden battled from the start and fought his way from 12th to finish fifth and extend his points lead. Darren finished a fighting seventh and placed himself solidly in third in the points. From an outsider looking in, the perception would be not one of the team’s better performances, but from the team’s point of view, it was our best performances by far. We fought all the way from the first practice to the checker. The crew and drivers put in the hard work and have that never-give-up attitude, so we’ll roll onto Road America.”

Thursday qualifying for the Freedom 75 was incredibly close, as the drivers took to the track alone to lay down just two laps at speed.  Despite his relative lack of experience, Gold led the team with the fastest speed; a two-lap average of 109.805 mph to grab hold of the inside of the second row for the Friday night event. Keane maintained a steady pace through Thursday practice to lay down an average speed of 109.738 mph that put him sixth in the order.  Entering the event as the point leader, Eves started his run in a bit of a deficit, sitting 12th on the speed chart after qualifying was wrapped.

In the race, Gold quickly slotted into fourth to fight with veteran Alex Baron, although he would slip through the field to eighth by the end of the 75-lap race, still recording his best finish of the year. It was a remarkable performance for the young rookie and will surely fuel continuing momentum as looks forward to Road America.  Keane settled into seventh early on and would eventually battle race-long for the position to finish seventh in the final tally, cementing his positioning in third in the championship standings.  Starting 12th, Eves was quickly up into the top-10 and he would leverage all 75 laps to pick his way forward.  The Ohio resident moved to fifth in the late-going, completing a strong run to pad his series point lead.  Eves now holds a 44-point advantage over Hunter McIlrea.  Gold’s strong result has advanced him into the top-10, sitting ninth in the standings.

Cape Motorsports and its driver trio will now turn their focus back to road racing and the next doubleheader, which will take place at the challenging four-mile Road America facility on the June 21-23 weekend.

CAPE MOTORSPORTS – DRIVER RESULTS AND QUOTES

USF2000 – ROUND 5 – MAY 23-24, 2019

LUCAS OIL RACEWAY – CLERMONT, IN

DARREN KEANE - #2

Qualifying: 6th – 109.738 mph

Race: Start – 6th / Finish – 7th    

Driver Quote: “It was a tough weekend for me. It was not the result we wanted, but it was certainly a very hard-fought seventh-place finish. Huge thanks to everyone at Cape Motorsports and Ozz Negri for all their help. Focusing on Road America from now on.”

REECE GOLD - #3

Qualifying: 3rd – 109.805 mph

Race: Start – 3rd / Finish – 8th    

BRADEN EVES - #8

Qualifying: 12th – 109.129 mph

Race: Start – 12th / Finish – 5th    

Driver Quote: “I’m super happy coming out of the weekend with the end result. It was the toughest weekend so far, struggling throughout the official test the other week and throughout practice, and to qualify 12th was not what we wanted. It was a good learning experience for me, I can look back and point out everything I did wrong, so from an educational standpoint, it was a great weekend. In the race, I turned it around and was one of the quickest cars on the track. It was one of the most satisfying finishes I’ve had this year and I managed to extend the championship lead overall from my closest competitors in points. Can’t ask for any more than that! But overall, the team did a great job and thanks to all who continue to support me; MDRN Livery, Cambox Meca, and all my fans who follow along. Bring on Road America!”

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