Abel Motorsports, Driver Jacob Abel Reach Road To Indy Landmark
 September 30, 2020| 
  • Team News
Abel Podium MO 2020

Sometimes it pays to make a late move. That approach doesn’t often yield results in professional auto racing because major league motorsport generally demands significant planning before the engines fire. But in this season of COVID-19, many long-held assumptions are being turned on their head. This is one such case.

Abel Motorsports of Louisville, KY has raced a partial Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires schedule in 2020 with their lead driver, 19-year-old Jacob Abel. The team’s first pair of runs in the series this year saw young Abel wage an uphill battle at both Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis and at World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis last month.  

With the series Abel Motorsports is focusing on this season taking a summer break, Jacob and his team made a late call to load up their Indy Pro 2000 machine and head to Mid-Ohio for a doubleheader event on the rescheduled NTT INDYCAR SERIES weekend. It turned out to be a most profitable move.

“We had issues almost the entire weekend,” commented Jacob. “We had mechanical problems in practice and qualifying. But we got it figured out in time for the first race Saturday. I couldn’t qualify so I started at the back of the pack, and I was able to pass five cars to end up 7th. Then, we really hit it right on Sunday. I had to start 13th in the second race, then about four laps in, the skies opened up and it rained so hard they had to red flag the race. Before the red, all my laps there really paid off, since I consider Mid-Ohio my home track. Some of the contenders went off, I passed many more, and was up to 4th when they stopped the race.”

Series officials decided to run the remainder of the event late Sunday after the NTT INDYCAR SERIES race, and conditions were much different six hours after the first green flag fell. “It turned hot and sunny by the time we got back on track,” commented young Abel, “but we were still fast. When we went green again I was able to make a pass for third, and hang there the rest of the way. What a way to earn my first Road to Indy podium, I’m just thrilled.”

Team Principal Bill Abel was equally excited. “Jacob earned both Hard Charger awards on the weekend, gaining five spots Saturday and then 10 on Sunday. It was his best weekend so far in the Road to Indy. It’s a very tough series, so having that success is very gratifying.”

Now, Jacob and his team turn their attentions back to bidding for wins in Formula Regional Americas action at Sebring this weekend and Homestead Miami Speedway next weekend. Their plans to run additional Indy Pro 2000 events this year are up in the air but one thing is certain: Abel’s podium finish at Mid-Ohio provided plenty of positive momentum for the balance of 2020 and beyond.

 

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