Exclusive Autosport Scores Second Podium of the Season at WWTR
 August 31, 2020| 
  • Team News
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American Braden Eves caps relentless performance with last lap outside pass to finish second

MADISON, Ill. – Exclusive Autosport returned to the intimidating oval at World Wide Technology Raceway last weekend for Round 7 of the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.

The weekend event featured high temperatures and mostly sunny skies, however, the last test session was hampered slightly by sporadic rain drops due to the outer effects of Hurricane Laura, causing a couple yellow flags. Ohio’s Braden Eves showed right away that he was ready to attack the 1.25-mile oval and despite having never been on this track, he showed pace immediately. Eves started off the wheel-to-wheel competition on a high note, topping the charts in Test 3 on Friday afternoon before his evening qualifying session.

The American put on a show in the 55-lap main events, hounding those in front of him to advance into a battle for second, which finished with a thrilling last-lap, last corner pass around the top-side of the banked oval. It was Eves second podium of the year and has moved him into third in the championship standings.

“I am very pleased with the second place finish at WWTR,” said Michael Duncalfe, Team Principal. “Mirl Swan and the EA crew gave Braden the fastest race car on track and Braden went to work. He was strong all race and really showed his fighting spirit. We needed this podium for critical points in the championship hunt. I’m proud of the team and am really looking forward to carrying this momentum into IMS this weekend.”

The single race event kicked off early Friday morning with the first of three test sessions. Eves constantly kept his times near the top of the charts for all three sessions before grabbing the fastest lap in Test 3. After the sun began to fall behind the bleachers, heading to the horizon, it was time for the qualifying session. The cars took to the track alone for a focused two-lap run. The main event grid was based on total time/average speed. With a total time of 1:04.456 and an average speed of 139.360 mph, Braden qualified fifth for Saturday’s 55-lap race.

Saturday’s Indy Pro 2000 action began with a 20-minute warmup, where Eves topped the charts just before the session concluded. The team decided to pull him in slightly early as the lap he laid down was without a draft or tow from any other cars. Later that afternoon, the race took place under cloudy skies with a mild threat of sprinkles. After getting the green, the 21-year-old fell back one position, but immediately got to work and after a short number of laps he was able to grab fifth place and then fourth. Eves then set his sights on the top-three.

The Ohio native closed up to the third-place driver but with the draft his competition was getting from the top-two, it made it nearly impossible to pass. Braden was not about to give up and with just a handful of laps to go he was able to grab third place. He then went on the attack for second, and with an incredible outside pass on the last turn of the last lap, he came across the line under the checkered flags, grabbing second. Clocking the fastest lap of the race, the team believes with a few more laps he could have won the race. However, the entire Exclusive Autosport team is extremely proud of Braden and his efforts on track.

In the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires point standings, Eves left WWTR having advanced to third, just 29 points behind the current championship leader and well within striking distance to the top spot. The next event on the calendar is set for this week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, running in a tripleheader on the track’s road course.

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 – ROUND 7 – AUGUST 28-29, 2020

INDY PRO 2000 OVAL CHALLENGE OF ST. LOUIS PRESENTED BY COOPER TIRES – MADISON, IL

BRADEN EVES - #1

Qualifying: 5th – 1:16.434

Race: Start – 5th / Finish – 2nd     

Driver Quote: “Overall, I’m extremely happy with the race at World Wide Technology Raceway. My car was dialed in and I was the quickest car on track the whole race. It took me a lot of laps to get by Sting Ray (Robb) because he had the two cars ahead to draft off of, but once I got by him I was also able to get Artem (Petrov) in only a few laps. It is unfortunate I didn’t have more time, but ultimately it was incredibly good for the points and we are going into the race I’ve been anticipating most all season. I’m super happy with the job my team has done, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store the rest of the year!”

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