c/o Andersen RacePark
10101 U.S. Highway 41 North
Palmetto, FL 34221
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March 27, 2013
It didn't take long for the Afterburner Autosport name to begin showing up near the top of 31-car scoresheets, as despite focusing on getting acclimatized to the concrete-lined 1.8-mile track and working on car setups, Gooden was third and fifth fastest in the two practice runs, and Eidson's No. 18 Eidson Enterprises/ Afterburner Autosport racer was sixth quickest in the opening session.
Aware that starting positions would likely play a key ingredient in success during the twin bill run in conjunction with the INDYCAR season-opener, all three Afterburner Autosport drivers were keen to post multiple quick laps in the sole qualifying session. For Gooden, the session ran almost exactly as planned, with the No. 17 PerfectPedal.com/Afterburner Autosport steed third fastest when the checkered flag waved. Newey, finding more pace each time he gets behind the wheel, made it two Afterburner cars inside the top-10, earning a row four starting position for race one via the eighth quickest lap. Eidson, unfortunately, was unable to get the speed desired from his racing steed during the traffic-filled session, ultimately posting the 14th best time.
When the Afterburner Autosport trio returned to the cockpits for Round Three, the goal was simple... avoid the expected incidents and move forward. Making the most of the expertise that has earned Afterburner Autosport two SCCA National Championship titles, the trio did just that. Gooden showcased both racecraft and speed during the 21-lap affair, earning both his and the team's first USF2000 Championship podium finish via an impressive drive to second place. Newey likewise displayed his talents in the No. 98 Curb Records/Calcium Pro/USANA/Miller Oils/OMP/Bell Helmets/Afterburner Autosport entry - which is run in conjunction with Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb/Agajanian - advancing up to sixth place when the checkered flag waved. Eidson made it three-for-three with regards to Afterburner Autosport cars going forward in the race, working his way up to 12th at the stripe.
Given the results from race one, spirits were expectedly high under the Afterburner Autosport awning when the skilled USF2000 field rolled back on-course one day later for Round Four prior to the IZOD IndyCar Series race. In repeat of the opening affair at the Florida street circuit, the trio immediately set about going forward when the green flag waved. Making the most of a mechanical problem for the P2 starter, Gooden took over second place into Turn One on the opening lap, and promptly held that position all the way to the checkered flag, securing his second consecutive runner-up finish. Newey further enhanced his growing reputation as an up-and-comer in race two as well, making the most of every opening and opportunity to go from eighth on the grid to fifth at the checkered flag. Eidson meanwhile battled adversity in the 21-lap contest, eventually crossing the line in an unrepresentative 23rd.
The Afterburner Autosport drivers and crew now have an extended break to both reflect and analyze the success in Florida, before embarking on the next challenge of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda... oval racing. Round Five features the lone 'circle track' event on the series calendar, when the prestigious 'Night Before the 500' event is held on May 25th at Lucas Oil Raceway, just down the road from the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana. Afterburner Autosport enters the event currently second in the team standings, with Gooden second in the driver's championship.
Keep up to date via Twitter @ ABautosport1 and Facebook page @ Afterburner-Autosport.
Learn more about Wyatt Gooden at WyattGooden.com and keep up to date via Twitter @ WyattGooden and Facebook @ WyattGoodenRacing.
Learn more about Jake Eidson at JakeEidsonRacing.com and keep up to date via Facebook @ JacobEidsonRacing.
Category: Team News
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