Jake Eidson: Two Wins at St. Pete!

Written by Team USA. Posted in Driver Blogs, Feature, Jake Eidson

Published on April 03, 2015 with No Comments

Hey Everyone,

Welcome back to my blog to kick off the 2015 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

A lot has happened during the offseason including my first Cooper Tires Winterfest with Pabst Racing, which was filled with many ups and downs. The six-race mini-series was looking pretty promising after winning two of the first three races at NOLA Motorsports Park. The next weekend we moved onto Barber Motorsports Park which had a bit of a schedule change due to the extreme weather conditions. It actually snowed the night before the race but luckily the track dried out the next day and we were restricted to only having two races with the last race being counted as double points. The first race went very well after finishing second with fastest lap putting me on pole for the last race. I had a comfortable points lead going into the race and really just needed to bring the car home to be titled Winterfest Champion. Sadly, Murphy’s Law chose me as its victim and on the opening lap my car lost power due to a very small mechanical issue in the fuel pump. Not being able to finish this race (on top of it being a double points race) cost us the Winterfest title and ended up finishing third. Still, it was great experience and the team showed that we’re going to be competitive in this year’s regular-season.

The start of the 2015 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda began in St. Petersburg, Florida. I was fortunate enough to be invited for a IndyCar media lunch and was interviewed by local media along with Scott Dixon and the eventual Grand Prix of St. Petersburg winner, Juan Pablo Montoya. Shortly after this I attended the Mazda Road to Indy Summit, where we learned about “How to Become a Local Hero,” through the Mazda seminar with Dean Case and John Doonan. We also learned more about media training with TV personality Bob Varsha and the Team Cooper Tire Hashtag program.

Practice the next day started off in wet conditions although it didn’t affect our pace as we climbed to the top of the time sheets in both sessions. Judging by our pace in practice, qualifying was looking pretty promising. As the sun rose over the track Saturday morning we gave everything we had and it paid off. We grabbed pole position by a comfortable three tenths of a second. When the green flag dropped for Race One, it was just a matter of getting a good start, clean opening laps, and not making any mistakes. During the race we had a couple safety car periods, which didn’t work much in our favor after working hard to create a gap from second position. Thankfully I was able to get a good restart and held off everyone behind me. At this point it was a final few laps dash to the finish and we rolled across the line with the first win of the season!

For Sunday I was able to start on pole once again and had the same routine. I got another good start and opened a small gap before another safety car came out. Once we went green again, I had to defend going into Turn One and didn’t get all of my downshifts done, so coming out of the corner the car was still in second gear (should have been in first) and cars were all over me approaching Turn Two. Fortunately I was still the first one to reach Turn Two and kept the lead for the rest of the race to have our second win of the season!

It was nearly a perfect race weekend with two pole positions and two wins! There really wasn’t much more I could ask for in terms of results. I obviously couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, and the Pabst Racing team. I also would like to thank Bell Helmets, OMP, 1st Bank, SafeisFast, Cooper Tires, and the Mazda Road to Indy. Without these people I would not be where I am today. I know we have a great chance of winning this championship and I can’t wait to get one step closer at our next race in NOLA Motorsports Park!

Also check out the highlight video of last weekend’s race here!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY8edFxL9Ok

Thanks for reading!
Jake Eidson

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