First-Year Indy Pro 2000 Team Shows Pace, Promise in First Oval Event
 May 30, 2019| 
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Leading Road to Indy Team Scores Top-Five Finish in Rookie Effort

(Louisville, KY) - Newly-minted Indy Pro 2000 team Abel Motorsports of Louisville, KY knows the path to ultimate success in open-wheel racing includes mastering the art of oval track competition. Friday night’s Cooper Tires Freedom 90 Road to Indy event gave the two-car team their first opportunity to learn the art, and showcase the team’s strength in front of an Indy 500-weekend audience.   

The race took place at Lucas Oil Raceway’s .686-mile oval just west of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Rookie Indy Pro 2000 driver Jacob Abel, a new high school graduate, was strong from the start, practicing in the top three before qualifying fifth. 

“We took it step by step and focused on learning,” noted the teenager.   “Oval qualifying carries lots of pressure. You only have two laps to go fast. It’s very different. We had a good night. I was one of only two drivers in the field who’d never raced on an oval before, and when we went green I dropped back a bit… I got back to fifth in the first turn and was able to stay in the top five. We weren’t the fastest, but we were competitive all night. I’m really happy with a lead-lap finish. Ending the night fifth is a big accomplishment.”

Teammate Parker Thompson, the young Canadian ace, was even stronger early. 

“We qualified third, before our time was disallowed due to a series procedural rule we weren’t aware of. I hated to start last. This is the hardest track to pass on! I got up to eighth, but I apparently made slight contact with someone and the front wing snapped in half. It’s unfortunate, but it got our bad luck out of the way for the year,” commented Thompson.

Team Principal Bill Abel, a veteran motocross and vintage racer himself, had raced at LOR in USF2000 competition in 2015. He has first-hand knowledge of the challenge presented by racing at the legendary Brownsburg short track. 

“I’m really proud of Jacob, and Parker. It’s a tough place, and for our first oval track event as an Indy Pro 2000 two-car team, we learned a lot and did well.  Now, we have a few weeks to get ready for a tough summer stretch.”

The solid run at LOR moved Jacob Abel up to seventh in the Indy Pro 2000 standings, while Thompson fell to fourth.

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