Exclusive Autosport's Frost Rebounds with Solid Oval Result
 August 27, 2019| 
  • Team News
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MADISON, Ill. – Exclusive Autosport returned to the high-speed oval at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, IL this past weekend for Round 12 of the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.

The team went into the weekend with confidence, having won the Freedom 90 on the Lucas Oil Raceway oval in Indianapolis this past May. Team drivers Nikita Lastochkin and Danial Frost were both focused on using the squad’s previous experience on the unique 1.25-mile oval to tackle the 55-lap race. Frost started seventh but was on the move following the opening lap chaos to march forward, picking drivers off one by one with a calculated approach to was rewarded with a strong fourth place finish. Lastochkin got caught behind a slower car at the start of the race, but capitalized on a late race yellow to advance on the restart to finish eighth.

“I am really proud with how hard the entire team worked at Gateway. We had an issue at the test (a week prior) that put us on our heels a little, however Mirl Swan and the crew kept working hard to find more pace,” admitted Michael Duncalfe, Team Principal.

“We came away with solid points in the championship. We are looking forward to the last two events of the season and continuing our fight in the championship hunt.”

As a ‘night race’ event, the schedule began on Friday afternoon with a half-hour practice session under the hot sun, followed by a qualifying session that would consist of just two flying laps. Qualifying results would be determined by the two-lap average of the run. Qualifying took place as the sun was setting, cooling the track down from practice significantly. Lastochkin would be the first to attempt his two-lap run, and he turned a two-lap average speed of 137.578 mph, putting him on the outside of row four for the race. Frost was the quicker of the two, taking to the track two cars later, turning an average speed of 140.642 mph to qualify seventh.

Saturday’s Indy Pro 2000 race would kick-off the evening’s action in the early afternoon. The weather was beautiful, and the EA drivers knew they had work to do. As the green flag dropped, the entire grid spanned out going into turn one, making it four-wide mid-way through the field. Frost and Lastochkin hung back just a bit to stay out the chaos, and while Danial maintained his position, Nikita was held up and fell back to 11th. By the halfway mark, both drivers had maneuvered their Tatuus PM-18 cars up to the sixth and tenth positions, respectively. A late race caution appeared on lap 40 after an incident in turn three, bunching up the field for a restart with seven laps to go. Frost continued to battle within the top-five and would eventually work himself forward to finish fourth. This result provided much needed points in the championship battle. Like Danial, Nikita kept pushing and took home an eighth-place finish in the final classification.

In the Indy Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires championship standings, Frost gained points on third place, shrinking the gap to only five points. Despite a tough weekend, Lastochkin maintained his position in sixth place in the championship.

The next stop for the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires will be the 1.964-mile, 12-turn road course of Portland International Raceway for Rounds 13 and 14 of the Indy Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires Championship. An official series test will take place on Thursday, August 29, followed by the standard practice, qualifying and doubleheader schedule on Saturday and Sunday (August 30-September 1). Be sure to follow all of the team’s social media platforms throughout the weekend.

Exclusive Autosport is pleased to be able to partner with great companies, such as 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 12 – AUGUST 23-24, 2019

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

DANIAL FROST - #68

Qualifying: 7th – 32.030 seconds

Race: Start – 7th / Finish – 4th

Driver Quote: “It’s been a difficult week for the team here at Gateway. We weren’t able to find the speed we needed to fight at the front, but we were still able to recover and pick up some solid points, which is important for us in the championship. This was the maximum we could extract, and I can’t thank everyone enough for this weekend. We look forward to Portland.”

NIKITA LASTOCHKIN - #90

Qualifying: 8th – 32.779 seconds

Race: Start – 8th / Finish – 8th  

Driver Quote: “Not exactly the weekend we were hoping for. Unfortunately, at the start of the race I lost a lot of time behind a slower car, which separated me from the rest of the field, and it was an uneventful race. At the late restart, I was able to make up a spot and that was all I had. I’m looking forward to getting back to Portland this weekend.”

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