Exclusive Autosport Grabs First Road to Indy Podium of the Year
 August 6, 2020| 
  • Team News
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Lexington, Ohio – Exclusive Autosport returned to the picturesque Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last week for the third, fourth and fifth rounds of the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. The mid-week event featured high temperatures and mostly sunny skies, although bit of erratic weather brought rain halfway through the second day of competition. Ohio’s Braden Eves showed right away that Mid-Ohio is his home track, as the reigning Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship title holder topped the time charts through the lone Indy Pro 2000 practice session before grabbing two poles in the qualifying sessions for Race 1 and Race 2. Eves started off the wheel-to-wheel competition on a high note, winning the first race of the tripleheader on Wednesday afternoon. The second two events were more chaotic, as Eves followed up his victory with a pair of top-10 results that have solidified his position in the top-five in the championship, just 13 points out of the lead.

“It was so great to score our first Indy Pro 2000 win, and two pole positions of the season with Braden,” said Michael Duncalfe, Team Principal. “Mirl Swan and the EA crew did a really great job prepping the car so we rolled off the truck really quick. We certainly would have liked to have added a couple more podiums in races two and three as Braden had incredible pace, but we gained valuable championship points. We are sitting in a good position heading into LOR. As a team we have had a lot of success at LOR the past two years and we look forward to returning to the oval and battling in the highly competitive Indy Pro 2000 championship.”

The tripleheader event kicked off on Wednesday morning with the stand-alone practice session. Eves got to work immediately, running a pace that would place him on top of the charts with a fast time of 1:17.512. The 21-year-old continued to sit on top of the charts in qualifying by grabbing the pole for Race 1. The opening event started late that afternoon, and after leading the field to the green flag from the inside of the front row, Eves went flag-to-flag to win his first Indy Pro 2000 race and gain much needed championship points.

Thursday’s Indy Pro 2000 action began with qualifying for Race 2. Braden again set the pace to score his second pole with a time of 1:16.209. Shortly after qualifying, Race 2 took place under cloudy skies as rain started to fall lightly at the green flag. Braden was immediately in a fight for the lead and was unfortunately spun as a result of contact from behind, putting him to the tail of the field. With many laps remaining, he put his head down and worked his way back up impressively to the ninth position, which was a crucial recovery.

The grid for the final race of the tripleheader was set by each driver’s fastest lap in Race 2. This set Braden on the inside of the fifth row for the start, and this time, he was caught up in an opening lap on-track incident, Braden was forced to come into pit lane for a cut tire, but the quick work of the EA crew got him back out on track before losing a lap, and returned to slot in near the tail of the field. He immediately went to work and was advancing aggressively, scoring as many positions as he could. After a tough and hard fought battle, Braden finished Race 3 in the ninth position.

In the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires point standings, Eves left Mid-Ohio sitting in fifth, just 13 points behind the current championship leader and well within striking distance. Mid-Ohio was set to be the next event on the calendar once again but, unfortunately, that event has been postponed. The crew will now go to work prepping the car for the Carb Night Classic oval race in Indianapolis at the Lucas Oil Raceway on August 21. Exclusive Autosport and Braden Evens fans and supporters can catch this race live on www.IndyPro2000.com on the Friday evening. And, as always, follow our social media outlets for coverage throughout the race weekend.

Exclusive Autosport is pleased to be able to partner with great companies, such as Cambridge Global Payments (https://ca.cambridgefx.com/exclusive-autosport/) and AERO™ Advanced Paint Technology (www.rethinkpaint.com), which is used on all their race cars.

EXCLUSIVE AUTOSPORT – DRIVER RESULTS AND QUOTES

INDY PRO 2000 – ROUNDS 3/4/5 – JULY 29-30, 2020

INDY PRO 2000 GRAND PRIX OF MID-OHIO PRESENTED BY COOPER TIRES HONORING FIRST RESPONDERS – LEXINGTON, OHIO

BRADEN EVES - #1

Qualifying 1: 1st – 1:16.434

Qualifying 2: 1st – 1:16.209

Race 1: Start - 1st / Finish – 1st     

Race 2: Start - 1st / Finish – 9th

Race 3: Start - 9th / Finish – 9th

Driver Quote: “It was a very strong weekend with the pace I had and, overall, it was a very good weekend. We just got very unlucky in Race 2 and Race 3. We had the car capable of a full sweep and got hit in the rear twice, forcing me to pit and running nearly a lap a down, still turning much quicker times than the winner. When things start to smooth out, I have no doubt in my team and the car under me that we will be even stronger. Lucas Oil Raceway has been very strong for Exclusive Autosport and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do there!”

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