Sunday’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season finale the Marlin CNG Services Grand Prix of Houston took place under wet conditions a stark contrast to the heat that greeted competitors the past few days. Henrik Furuseth of PRL Motorsports claimed his career-best starting position to lead the field to the green.
A slight bobble allowed both Alexandre “Alex” Baron of Afterburner Autosport and Neil Alberico of Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing to slip past but Furuseth quickly regained the position over Alberico. Behind them ensued an action-packed battle on the slippery race track, including the elimination of champion Scott Hargrove on Lap 3 with handling issues after a spin.
Baron stormed off into the distance to claim his second win in only four starts of the season with the Afterburner squad. Furuseth closed out his season with back-to-back podiums by claiming second place. Championship runner-up Alberico, who won yesterday, finished third.
“Rain is not a problem for me. I have been driving in the rain since I was small so I have a good feeling with it,” said Baron. “The car was very good and I would like to thank my team for that. It was a perfect race for me.”
Several drivers posted their best results of the season including Austin Cindric of Andretti Autosport, who finished seventh, and Clark Toppe of JDC MotorSports, with an 11th place.
Championship-wise behind the Cape Motorsports’ teammates, Garett Grist secured a third-place finish in the standings and Rookie of the Year honors, with Furuseth fourth and Wyatt Gooden, also of Afterburner Autosport, fifth.
Newly crowned National Class champion Scott Rettich continued to keep Alliance Autosport’s 100 percent win record alive with his victory today.
Contingency awards included the Staubli and Tilton Hard Charger Award to Brandon Newey of Afterburner Autosport/BHA with Curb/Agajanian for a gain of 12 positions from 17th to fifth, the the PFC Award to the winning car owners of Afterburner Autosport and Alliance Autosport and the National Class Masters Award Presented by Elite/Comprent to Rettich.