ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – It all came down to the Grand Prix of Houston. Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing drivers Scott Hargrove and Neil Alberico went into the final Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda race weekend one-two in the point standings. In the end, it was Hargrove who claimed the Championship and the $383,000 2014 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires scholarship. Alberico finished second in the standings.
"Running with Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing in 2013 has been the most fun year of racing I've ever had and also the most successful,” Hargrove said. “However, the success did not come easy as the Capes (Dominic and Nicholas) pushed me to be better and better every time I got in the car. They know how to get the most out of the car and the driver, so I owe a lot of the success to them.
"Winning the USF2000 series championship and receiving the Mazda scholarship are things I dreamt about a year ago, and to be this year’s recipient is an incredible feeling. I faced more adversity on track this year then I would have liked, combine that with managing a points lead right from the first weekend and it became a huge challenge to push the car to 100% while keeping in mind I had a big enough points lead that I could escape a bad situation if necessary. I learned a lot from being in that position all year long and I will transfer the knowledge gained this year to next year when running in Pro Mazda."
Although Hargrove held a 44-point lead heading into Houston, Alberico wasn’t going to make it easy for his teammate. Hargrove started first in Race 1 with Alberico right behind him. Alberico took the checkered flag, but Hargrove, with his third-place finish, secured the championship. In Race 2, Alberico picked up his eighth podium of the season.
"It’s been an absolute dream season,” Alberico said. “The Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing boys did such an incredible job all year. We overcame a huge deficit as a team to come back and win six races in the end. This year has been all about perseverance and overcoming unfortunate circumstances. We got through it all together, and I think that is what makes the Cape brothers so successful. All those guys are family to me, and in my world family comes first."
In total, Cape drivers combined to win 10 of 14 races in 2013. Cape Motorsports claimed the team championship the race weekend before.
“What a season!” said team owners Dominic and Nicholas Cape. “We would like to thank our drivers, crew and series officials for all their hard work all season. Also, a big thanks to our families for their support. It is incredibly fulfilling when you see young drivers progress throughout a season, and we saw that in both Scott and Neil. It is a shame that only one of our drivers could claim the championship – they both deserve it.”
For more information on Cape Motorsports, please visit www.capemotorsports.com.