Portland, OR (September 3, 2018) – The last time USF2000 cars hit the track at Portland International Raceway was in 2006, so needless to say, racing at Portland this weekend was “a first” for all the young drivers in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda.
Dakota Dickerson showed up at Portland with nothing but “Get Well Wishes” in his heart and on his helmet for recently injured IndyCar driver Robert Wickens.
Dickerson and the ArmsUp Motorsports Team spent the first part of the weekend trying to find a baseline setup and looking for a little more speed in the car. Qualifying was a bit of a struggle on Friday as the California driver was not able to get his #9 RoxBalden Mazda powered-machine higher than 13th on the grid for Saturday’s race.
On Saturday afternoon, under 68-degree partly cloudy skies, a field of 18 cars let loose and went racing for Round 13, the penultimate race of the season. Dickerson is known for his great starts, and this was no exception as he passed three cars going from 13th to 10th place as soon as the green flag flew, while car #24 (Kaylen Frederick) was sent into the run-off area at Turn 1 as a result of a two-car bumping incident on the start. Frederick rejoined the race and tried to battle his way back up the field. This being the last race event of the season, cars were diving into the corners “four and five-wide” as drivers were vying for Championship points. By Lap 12, Dickerson had charged up to 8th position before a full-course caution was brought out to remove car #82 (Bruna Tomaselli) that went off track trying to avoid a multi-car incident. On the re-start, with only four laps to go, things got a little crazy and Dickerson lost a few positions as he was trying to avoid getting into trouble, and keep the car in one piece for the next and last race. The San Diego native finished in 10th place as the race checkered, but was happy to find out he’d been elevated to 8th place after Race Control officials handed out post-race penalties for avoidable contact to four drivers.
“Starting in the 13th spot, I knew we were going to be in the thick of it all going into Turn 1,” said Dickerson. “I decided to let the mayhem unfold in front of me and was able to capitalize on a couple of drivers getting into each other. We were then able to get around a couple more cars before the full course caution came out. After losing a couple spots on the restart, we ended the race in the top 10 which was great for the team!”
Sunday’s Round 14 had a bit of a chaotic start with cars piling up on Lap 1 causing contact between cars #41 (Braden Eaves) and #12 (Jose Sierra) followed by a full-course yellow. Dakota Dickerson started 11th on the grid, hoping to bring home a Top-5 finish for the ArmsUp Motorsports Team who had worked so hard all weekend trying to find that perfect setup. On Lap 3, the race went green again, and one lap later, Dickerson had moved up to 8th spot. Some drivers were racing aggressively fighting for positions and year-end Championship points resulting in one driver getting a drive-thru penalty. The young Californian kept his cool and ended up in 7th place when the checker flag flew.
The 21-year old driver reflected on the race and his overall weekend. “Race 2 was quite busy at the start. We were again able to make up a few positions in the first couple corners and maintained a top-10 result for the team. It was a lot of fun spending the weekend with the ArmsUp boys for the USF2000 finale,” added Dickerson with a smile.
“We didn’t end the season with the results we wanted but I know the guys are strong and have a program that will give their drivers an opportunity to run up front next year. I can’t express enough how thankful I am for the opportunity they gave me.”
Be sure to join us for Dakota Dickerson’s next F4 US Championship’s official race on September 14-16, 2018 at the New Jersey Motorsports Park. All sessions can be followed on Race Monitor.
Dakota Dickerson’s race fans can follow him on his website dakotadickersonracing.com, Instagram (@dickersonracing), Facebook (Dakota Dickerson Racing) and on Twitter (@DickersonRacing).
About Dakota Dickerson Racing:
Dakota Dickerson is a third-generation racer from San Diego, CA. The 21-year old has been racing since he was 6 years old and is currently racing with DC Autosport in the F4 US Championship. In his first two years of racing cars he won a Driver Development scholarship from Bryan Herta Autosport (2-time Indianapolis 500 winning team), a Karts to Cars scholarship from Skip Barber Racing School, was chosen to be one of two drivers to represent the United States overseas via the Team USA Scholarship and was the 2016 USF2000 Mazda Scholarship Driver. With this success, he hopes to continue on to the Verizon INDYCAR Series.
About ArmUp Motorsports:
Based in Sheboygan Falls, WI., ArmsUp Motorsports was established in 1995 by twenty-year lead instructor for Skip Barber Racing School, Gregg Borland. It has since then grown to be a leading team in the world of motorsports. ArmsUp Motorsports is a full-service prep facility with a team of highly experienced mechanics, driving coaches, and engineers readily available to assist in the success of each driver. The team specializes in Pro F2000, Formula Continental, Formula Atlantic, and Vintage Car racing. For more information please visit the official ArmsUp website at www.ArmsUpMotorsports.com.
About the USF2000 Championship:
The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda debuted in 2010 and is a continuation of the highly regarded USF2000 series which ran from 1990 through 2006, launching the careers of many of today’s top drivers. Sanctioned by INDYCAR, the series is the first official step on the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires - a clearly defined path to reach the top echelons of the sport. In addition to providing a vital training ground for rising stars, the series champion will earn a scholarship package from Mazda of $325,000 to advance to the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, the next step on the ladder system.
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