33 Dreams of Indy focuses on the Cooper Tire Road to Indy Series, covering the Drivers and Teams that compete in the Indy Lights Series, the Indy Pro Series and the USF2000 Series.
33 Dreams also covers the NTT IndyCar Series throughout the season as well as the Indianapolis 500. Hundreds of Drivers Dream of capturing one of the coveted 33 Starting spots in the Indy 500. I follow the journeys of these drivers and teams that they work with and tell the stories that you usually don't find in the mainstream coverage.
2020 Back on Track – Road to Indy at Road America
Frost, Petrov & Rasmussen visit victory lane at Road America
As the Road to Indy Series got back on track for the 1st time in the 2020 season.
For the first time since 2019, the Road to Indy and IndyCar Series was competing on the same weekend at Road America and based upon the IndyCar results the Road to Indy stars that have graduated from the series were truly shining in the IndyCar series with Pato OWard, Felix Rosenqvist having great showings and duking it out in race number two at Road America. Focusing on the action that took place with the Indy Pro 2000 both of the series on the Road to Indy qualified in wet conditions. The series was on the track at Road America on Thursday and Friday so that they could be out of the track in time for the Indy cars to come in for the weekend double-header. In the first race with the Indy Pro 2000, Danial Frost only led one lap, that was the very last lap. He had qualified in the pole position but due to a gearing issue he was bumped back and had a penalty that he had to start at the rear of the grid, and he made his way all the way up by winning the race by .0556 seconds over Devlin DeFrancesco.
Colin Kaminsky in his first run in the Indy Pro 2000 was on the podium for that race. The fast lap of the race was Manuel Sulaiman and he turned in that fast lap. That meant that he was on the pole for race number two. Race number two was won by Artem Petrov from St. Petersburg, Russia. He started third in the race and was able to move himself into the winning position. Sting Ray Robb finished second and Danial Frost followed up his victory in the first race with a podium finish. Two drivers that do not want to even have you mention Road America again Hunter McElrae the rookie in the series moving up from USF2000 and Parker Thompson. Both finished in the back half of the field, the back bottom portion of the field. Good solid showings for last year's USF2000 champion Braden Eves in the first race. Let me check the details here.
The first race he had a fourth just off of the podium and in the second race fifth. So, if we look at the points and here's something that I wish that would be worked out with Road to Indy especially with there not being any Indy Lights this year, no Indy Lights races. I would love to see a graphic popped up during the main NBC broadcast or NBC Sports Network that gave you the top three or top five and points of the series because as you see, those drivers that are on the Road to Indy actually end up making it into the Series. They're folks that the race fans need to know a little bit more about it. But the top standings for Indy Pro 2000 Danial Frost with his victory and podium position. He leads with 52 points, Devlin DeFrancesco with 46 points, Sting Ray Robb in third with 42, Artem Petrov with his win in the second race, a lower standing in the first race but he's fourth at 39.
Colin Kaminski very solid 37 points tied with Braden Eves and that rounds out your top five or top six of it. In the team championship Juncos Racing 52 points. Turn 3 Motorsports, Danial Frost running for Turn 3 Motorsports, absolutely fantastic to see this. One of the hardest working teams putting their cars together and having different drivers in it at spring training when I was down at Homestead. It's great to see the results for this team of not only what Danial Frost is doing but eighth place and points Antoine Comeau being there. So, Juncos, Turn 3, Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport not in the Indy Lights. So, they're fielding a car in Indy Pro and then Exclusive Autosport.
Turning the page to USF2000 Christian Rasmussen. Christian Rasmussen, he took the lead or took the points lead won both races max points because he was the fastest in both races.
Max Esterson Racing with Team Pelfrey F1600 in 2020
During the break in the racing action, I caught up with Max Esterson after his iRacing team won the 12 hours of Sebring online. We also talk about his recent announcement with Team Pelfrey to run F1600 in 2020.
George Mack in his own words talks about his IndyCar experience
His experiences as a driver and as an African American in the IndyCar Series.
Like many drivers, George Mack started in Go-Karting with his Father in California. With his success, he moved up the ranks until he found himself racing in Europe.
With the creation of the Indy Racing League, George Mack secured a ride on the IndyCar Series with an underfunded team and competed in the 2002 season, running the oval only series.
George Mack is the highest finishing African American driver in the Indy 500 to date, finishing 17th in 2002. He and Willy T. Ribbs hold they distinction of being the only 2 African Americans to run in the Indianapolis 500. He credits Willy T. Ribbs as being a mentor and a supporter of his racing career and we discuss his thoughts on the Netlix movie - Uppity.
I caught up with George Mack on the way home from work in Los Angeles traffic (please pardon the video quality and framing in some portions of the interview). George was born in Hollywood, California and has always called the LA area home.
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George Mack - IndyCar Driver - Affrican American History
Prescott Campbell – From Shootout to Formula Car Championship to USF2000
The 2018 Lucas Oil School of Racing Shootout Winner and 2019 Lucas Oil Formula Car Series Champion is ready for the next step - USF2000 on the Road to Indy.
I had an opportunity to catch up with Prescott during a break from his engineering studies in England, just before he left to attend preseason testing in Homestead.
Exclusive Autosport is thrilled to announce that 19-year-old Prescott Campbell will make his debut in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship this season with their race-winning operation. The Newport Beach, CA native and Oxford, UK resident will pilot the teams #91 Tatuus USF-17, featuring their trademark red and black Exclusive Autosport livery with branding from the Lucas Oil School of Racing. Campbell is the reigning 2019 Lucas Oil Formula Car Race Series champion, an accomplishment that earned him a $75,000 scholarship towards the 2020 USF2000 season.
In 2012 Campbell began racing cadet karts in the Southern California region, marking the start of his racing career. He graduated to the senior kart categories in 2016 where he began his climb up the Superkarts! USA Shifter Stock Moto ladder system. He progressed through the ranks before making his debut in the Pro Shifter category at the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals XXII in 2018. At the end of that year, he was one of 30 drivers invited to compete in the inaugural Cooper Tire Karting Scholarship Shootout held at Sebring International Raceway. A panel of well-accomplished figures in the motorsport industry selected him as the winner of the three-day judged event, for which he received a scholarship to run the full 2019 Lucas Oil Formula Car Race Series calendar. Prescott broke his femur in a karting accident mid-season, but was able to come back to win the championship despite missing three of the series 18 races. An impressive drive in the season finale saw him clinch the title by a crucial four points and win the $75,000 scholarship towards this years USF2000 season. He was also a finalist in last years Team USA Scholarship Shootout.
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Who will be the 3rd African American Driver to race in the Indy 500?
David Dalton, Jr. Dreams that it is him
Episode 28 of the 33 Dreams of Indy Podcast
In 1985. a brash yet confident driver by the name of Willy T. Ribbs showed up at the Indianapolis Speedway with dreams of making it into the field of 33. It was not meant to be that year, as documented in the new movie available on Netflix - Uppity.
Uppity - Available on Netflix
Willy T.'s dream would have to wait until 1991 when he became the Jackie Robinson of IndyCar Racing by being the 1st African American to start in the Indy 500. He raced at Indy again in 1993 - finishing 21st.
It was 9 years later in 2002 that George Mack follow the path set by Willy T. by making the field of 33 and finishing 17th.
In the 18 years that have followed, there has not been an African American as part of the 33.
In a dual fold manner - to celebrate Black History Month and also to shine a light on a up and coming driver, I interviewed David Dalton, Jr.
David dreams of being the 3rd African American Driver to race in the Indy 500. But he knows he has a long ways to go to get there and is open to doing what he loves to do - Race.
So much so that he recently submitted an application to the NASCAR REV - Drive for Diversity Program.
David is not just looking for an advantage or a hand out - rather he is touting his results in his young racing career. In 2018 he participated in the Inaugural Lucas Oil School of Racing Shootout, finishing 5th. This finished earned him a place in races during the 2019 Lucas Oil Formula Car Series. He shined, making 12 out of the 18 events, with 1 win and 3 Podium Finishes.
2018 Lucas Oil School of Racing Shootout Finalist
In this interview, we talk about David racing along with the challenges that he has faced along the way.
If you would like to support David Dalton, Jr. I have included a link to his efforts: https://www.facebook.com/donate/553511681914306/2963182713746025/
How to Find the USF2000 Indy Pro 2000 and Indy Lights Car on a Simulator
That is a great question. The current Simulation systems on the market do not have the specific cars that are used in the Road to Indy's 3 main series. This leaves drivers having to use other models of cars as a substitute.
That will change at the track atleast. I sat down with Greg De Giorgis, Owner and Lead Engineer for SimMetric Driver Performance Labs.
Greg has developed a commercial-grade driving simulator in a custom-built, first-of-its-kind mobile coaching lab, that gives drivers more track time in order to gain an advantage over their competitors in a safe, controlled environment.
The system is loaded with the specific car models used by the USF2000 Indy Pro 2000 & Indy Lights series. For this reason and many others, SimMetric Labs was named an Official Partner of the Road to Indy Series presented by Cooper Tires.
The SimMetric Labs will be on the road this season and at the Road to Indy events to be utilized by drivers and teams, starting with the preseason testing at Homestead.