Jamin (USF2000), Cooper (PWC GTS) win first two races of weekend at Mid-Ohio


LEXINGTON, Ohio – There’s 12 races this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, with 11 additional races between the Mazda Road to Indy and Pirelli World Challenge besides Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 (1:30 p.m. ET, CNBC) for the Verizon IndyCar Series.

The first two of those 12 – race one for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and the Pirelli World Challenge GTS class – occurred Friday late afternoon.


Points leader Nico Jamin of Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing delivered a dominant, flag-to-flag drive en route to his sixth win of the season, and seventh straight top-two finish in Round 12 of the 16-race season. Never challenged, Jamin won by 5.9558 seconds.

Meanwhile Australian rookie Anthony Martin equaled his season-best result of second, courtesy of a flying start where he made it up from fourth to second by Turn 4, which serves as the opening turn on the course. Aaron Telitz was third ahead of Jake Eidson and Parker Thompson.

The lone incident in the race occurred when Luke Gabin collected his Team Pelfrey teammate Garth Rickards at Turn 12, the carousel. Rickards was out on the spot while Gabin held onto seventh place for the remainder of the race, behind Yufeng Luo.

Jamin entered the race with a 17-point lead over Eidson and will only extend that margin with Eidson ending fourth. Races two and three of the weekend, Rounds 13 and 14, both occur on Saturday.


Michael Cooper led flag-to-flag in the first of two GTS races of the weekend in the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R, but the win wasn’t as easy as he made it seem.

Jack Baldwin, who first raced at Mid-Ohio in 1973, started on pole in the newly adorned Umphrey’s McGee No. 73 GTSport Racing Porsche Cayman S. But before he even had the chance to get going, his car seized up from the standing start, and his run of four consecutive podiums going into the weekend came to an end. The team got the car back running halfway into the 50-minute race.

Meanwhile the pair of Camaro Z/28.Rs emerged first and second, with Cooper leading Best IT Racing’s Andy Lee in a dogfight for nearly the rest of the race.

Mark Wilkins in a Kia Optima led Dean Martin’s Ford Mustang, Kris Wilson’s Aston Martin and Andrew Aquilante’s Ford in a four-way fight for third. A brief slip-up by Wilkins allowed Martin and Wilson through, and they easily pulled away.

Wilson made it past Martin for third and what would have been the final podium position, and immediately closed on Lee for second.

The reason for the “what would have been” line was contact between Wilson and Lee battling for second into Turn 4, which knocked them both back. Wilson spun out as Lee was on the inside.

With Lee and Wilson’s contact, up front, Cooper held on second win of the year (Round 2 at Circuit of the Americas).

Lee’s first podium and top-five finish of the year eluded him once again, as Martin leapt to second, with Andrew Aquilante third.

Hunter Lawrence defends Haiden Deegan after controversial block pass at Detroit


Media and fan attention focused on a controversial run-in between Haiden Deegan and his Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing teammate Jordon Smith during Round 10 of the Monster Energy Supercross race at Detroit, after which the 250 East points’ Hunter Lawrence defends the young rider in the postrace news conference.

Deegan took the early lead in Heat 1 of the round, but the mood swiftly changed when he became embroiled in a spirited battle with teammate Smith.

On Lap 3, Smith caught Deegan with a fast pass through the whoops. Smith briefly held the lead heading into a bowl turn but Deegan had the inside line and threw a block pass. In the next few turns, the action heated up until Smith eventually ran into the back of Deegan’s Yamaha and crashed.

One of the highlights of the battle seemed to include a moment when Deegan waited on Smith in order to throw a second block pass, adding fuel to the controversy.

After his initial crash, Smith fell to seventh on the next lap. He would crash twice more during the event, ultimately finishing four laps off the pace in 20th.

The topic was inevitably part of the postrace news conference.

“It was good racing; it was fun,” Deegan said at about the 27-minute mark in the video above. “I just had some fun doing it.”

Smith had more trouble in the Last Chance Qualifier. He stalled his bike in heavy traffic, worked his way into a battle for fourth with the checkers in sight, but crashed a few yards shy of the finish line and was credited with seventh. Smith earned zero points and fell to sixth in the standings.

Lawrence defends Deegan
Jordon Smith failed to make the Detroit Supercross Main and fell to sixth in the points. – Feld Motor Sports

“I think he’s like fifth in points,” Deegan said. “He’s a little out of it. Beside that it was good, I don’t know. I wasn’t really paying attention.”

Deegan jokingly deflected an earlier question with the response that he wasn’t paying attention during the incident.

“He’s my teammate, but he’s a veteran, he’s been in this sport for a while,” Deegan said. “I was up there just battling. I want to win as much as everybody else. It doesn’t matter if it’s a heat race or a main; I just want to win. I was just trying to push that.”

As Deegan and Smith battled, Jeremy Martin took the lead. Deegan finished second in the heat and backed up his performance with a solid third-place showing in the main, which was his second podium finish in a short six-race career. Deegan’s first podium was earned at Daytona, just two rounds ago.

But as Deegan struggled to find something meaningful to say, unsurprisingly for a 17-year-old rider who was not scheduled to run the full 250 schedule this year, it was the championship leader Lawrence who came to his defense.

Lawrence defends Deegan
A block pass by Haiden Deegan led to a series of events that eventually led to Jordon Smith failing to make the Main. – Feld Motor Sports

“I just want to point something out, which kind of amazes me,” Lawrence said during the conference. “So many of the people on social media, where everyone puts their expertise in, are saying the racing back in the ’80s, the early 90s, when me were men. They’re always talking about how gnarly it was and then anytime a block pass or something happens now, everyone cries about it.

“That’s just a little bit interesting. Pick one. You want the gnarly block passes from 10 years ago and then you get it, everyone makes a big song and dance about it.”

Pressed further, Lawrence defended not only the pass but the decision-making process that gets employed lap after lap in a Supercross race.

“It’s easy to point the finger,” Lawrence said. “We’re out there making decisions in a split millisecond. People have all month to pay their phone bill and they still can’t do that on time.

“We’re making decisions at such a fast reaction [time with] adrenaline. … I’m not just saying it for me or Haiden. I speak for all the guys. No one is perfect and we’re under a microscope out there. The media is really quick to point a finger when someone makes a mistake.”

The media is required to hold athletes accountable for their actions. They are also required to tell the complete story.