Exclusive Autosport Veteran Records To-Five Finishes at Road America
 June 27, 2019| 
  • Team News
Exclusive-IP2K-RoadAmerica-Lastochkin

ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. – Exclusive Autosport returned to the picturesque state of Wisconsin this past weekend for Rounds 6 and 7 of the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires at Road America. The team went into the weekend with extreme confidence, coming off their win in the Freedom 90, and both Nikita Lastochkin and Danial Frost were focused on using the experience they have on the 4.1-mile track to tackle the doubleheader.

Lastochkin, a Road to Indy veteran, delivered a consistently strong performance to score a pair of fifth-place finishes, while the rookie Frost showed tremendous pace only to encounter issues in both races that prevented him from reaching the checkered flags.

“I have mixed emotions leaving Road America,” admitted Michael Duncalfe, Team Principal.

“I am very pleased with the performances we saw from series veteran Nikita Lastochkin. This was his best event of the season thus far. He raced hard, showed really strong pace and came away with two fifth place finishes. He is knocking on the door of the podium and I am confident he will be up there in the very near future. Danial had a tough weekend overall, starting with the incident in Qualifying #1 on Thursday. Mirl Swan and the crew at Exclusive Autosport had their work cut out for them to get Danial's car ready for on-track action on Saturday. However, Mirl and our entire crew were up to the challenge and did an amazing job. I can’t each of them enough for all of their hard work. Danial had the outright pace to win this weekend, but it just didn't go our way. Danial is resilient and I am confident that he will come back stronger in Toronto and throughout the second half of the season.”

The event started first thing Friday morning with the one and only official practice of the weekend and Lastochkin and Frost got right to work by setting a pace for the rest of the field to chase during the 30 minutes that they had on-track. The EA duo held on to first and second all session, right up until the last lap when they were topped by a scant margin, dropping them to second and third.

Both drivers were poised and ready for Qualifying 1, which was held later that day, with the shared goal to lock out an all-EA front row. Qualifying 1 gave the drivers 20 minutes to lay down their fastest laps of the weekend and, just like practice, Lastochkin and Frost were flirting with the front row. Unfortunately, on the last lap of qualifying, Frost had an off in turn 7 that ended in contact with the wall, causing significant damage to his car. Danial would ultimately wind up with the fourth-place starting spot for Race 1. Lastochkin was holding on to a top-five grid position early on, although at the end he would fall down the order to eighth, yet still only 0.7822 back from the pole in this very competitive group of drivers.

Saturday’s Indy Pro 2000 action would kick-off with qualifying for Race 2 and Nikita continued his weekend long improvement, finding significant speed to push up the order to fifth. This pace would put him on the inside of the third row for the start. The EA crew worked extremely hard to get Frost’s #68 PM-18 ready for Qualifying 2 and Danial piloted his machine to seventh on the time sheets.

The opening race of the weekend would begin just after the noon hour and, just like most Road to Indy starts, it was a little chaotic. Coming out of turn 1, Frost was forced off the track, causing damage to the car that prevented him from finishing the race. Nikita watched it all unfold and missed the carnage by just inches. The Russian-born, Los Angeles resident quickly regrouped and began dicing with the front group. Late in the race, while running fifth, he attempted to make an outside pass for fourth place in both Turn 5 and Canada Corner but just couldn’t make them stick. Nikita would go on to finish an impressive fifth.

The second race of the doubleheader wrapped the Road to Indy events on Sunday morning, and Frost and Lastochkin were immediately moving up through the field. Lastochkin put in an impressive drive to come home with another top-five finish, his fourth of the year. He also gained extremely important points in the championship. Frost was running incredibly strongly, but at about the halfway mark, he was again forced off the track and the resultant damage to the car ended his race. Danial would retire in the 12th position.

In the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires standings, Lastochkin firms up his place in the sixth position and closed the gap significantly to the fourth and fifth place drivers. After a tough weekend for Frost, he has dropped to the fourth spot in the order, still just 37 points behind the leader.

The next stop for the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires will be the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for an official series test. This outing will be followed in two weeks with the event north of the border on the streets of Toronto. We look forward to getting back to the team’s home country and getting some solid results.

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 – ROUNDS 6/7– JUNE 21-23, 2019

REV GROUP GRAND PRIX – ELKHART LAKE, WI

DANIAL FROST - #68

Qualifying 1: 4th – 2:01.441

Qualifying 2: 7th – 2:01.457

Race 1: Start – 4th / Finish – 11th     

Race 2: Start – 7th / Finish – 12th 

NIKITA LASTOCHKIN - #90

Qualifying 1: 9th – 2:01.907

Qualifying 2: 5th – 2:01.023

Race 1: Start – 9th / Finish – 5th  

Race 2: Start – 5th / Finish – 5th 

Driver Quote: “It was a great weekend for myself and Exclusive Autosport at Road America. Coming from a very tough month of May a pair of top-5 results was a good confidence boost. We started the weekend with great pace which was followed by some awesome racing. In Race 1 I was forced off track and later when rejoined had to make all the positions back. With a few restarts it helped me not to lose the pack. Race 2 I had an unfortunate moment on the opening lap in the carousel corner and dropped all the way back the order. I quickly regained the positions I had lost, but the next pack was too far away and without the draft it was hard to get back up to them in a caution free race. Overall quite happy with the weekend, thanks to EA crew the car was really fast and reliable, looking forward to the next event.”

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