Rookie racers Gooden, Newey, and Slaghekke seeking to challenge for top honors on the streets of Toronto
MINNEAPOLIS, MIN. (July 9, 2013) – The pursuit of Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda glory continues for Afterburner Autosport this coming weekend (July 13-14), when the summer hiatus ends with Rounds Six and Seven on the streets of Toronto. Rookie standouts Wyatt Gooden, Brandon Newey, and Jeroen Slaghekke will once again get behind the wheels for the Minnesota-based squad focused on challenging for places on the post-race podium during the doubleheader after a strong start to the 2013 campaign that has the team second in the title fight.
Over a month after contesting the lone oval on the series calendar, the USF2000 Championship drivers and teams are back in action via a street circuit doubleheader in downtown Toronto. For Afterburner Autosport, the twin bill in Canada represents the opportunity to resume what has been an impressive run thus far in the Mazda Road to Indy development series.
A title contender in only its second season of USF2000 action, the three-car outfit has been one to watch on the more traditional road courses and street circuits. The talented trio of Gooden, Newey, and Slaghekke were particularly strong last time the highly-regarded championship took to the tight confines of a street circuit in St. Petersburg. Gooden, who pilots the No. 17 PerfectPedal.com/Afterburner Autosport racer, was in contention for the win on both days in Florida, ultimately finishing second in the two races. Newey further highlighted the skill of the Afterburner Autosport squad, running among the lead pack as well in Rounds Three and Four en route to piloting the No. 98 Curb Records/Calcium Pro/USANA/Miller Oils/OMP/Bell Helmets/Afterburner Autosport entry to sixth and fifth place in the doubleheader. While Slaghekke did not garner the results he desired while racing for another outfit back in March, the No. 18 Carriere/W-H Sports...
MINNEAPOLIS, MIN. (May 29, 2013) – The lone oval race on the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda calendar at Lucas Oil Raceway on Saturday (May 25) was a valuable point scoring affair for Afterburner Autosport. Having showing good speed throughout the event, the Minnesota-based squad ultimately exited Round Five with plenty of experience via Wyatt Gooden in 12th, Jeroen Slaghekke in 14th, and Brandon Newey in 16th. Afterburner Autosport now changes its focus back to street circuit racing, currently sitting second in the title fight.
With a couple trips to the podium already on its 2013 USF2000 Championship resume, Afterburner Autosport was looking to continue its run of form when the Mazda Road to Indy series traveled to Lucas Oil Raceway for its lone oval race as part of the famed Night Before the 500 event.
The action got underway with three test runs on Friday around the 0.686-mile oval, and as planned the Afterburner Autosport racers focused on car setup/balance, which is vital on a oval. Things were going in the right direction, with Slaghekke twice cracking the top-10 in the No. 18 Carriere/W-H Sports Group Afterburner Autosport entry, and Gooden just missing a top-five time. It was, however, not all good news, as the second session witnessed Newey striking the concrete retaining wall after another competitor spun right in front of the American.
Thanks to some strong work by the Afterburner Autosport crew, all three cars were ready to fight for top honors when race day commenced one day later with two practice sessions. Continuing to fine tune their racing steeds for the late afternoon single-car qualifying session and evening race under the lights, Slaghekke again led the charge, posting the third quickest lap in the first practice run.
Given the progress the three rookies had made thus far, spirits were high under the Afterburner Autosport awning when single-car qualifying got underway to set the grid for Round Five. With each...
Minnesota-based squad now second in USF2000 Championship title fight after impressive outing in Rounds Three and Four
MINNEAPOLIS, MIN. (March 27, 2013) – Afterburner Autosport showcased its championship-winning pedigree over the weekend (March 23-24), with an impressive double visit to the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda podium in St. Petersburg, Fla. Rookie Wyatt Gooden positioned himself as a 2013 title contender with two impressive runner-up finishes at the Florida street circuit, while fellow first-year series racer Brandon Newey also showcased his talents with a top-five and top-10 result. Jake Eidson did not garner the results desired, but he battled through adversity to further display his talents behind the wheel. Afterburner Autosport now lies second in both the driver and team standings, poised to fight for top honors when the action resumes in late May with the lone oval on the championship calendar.
After a solid launch to the 2013 edition of the USF2000 Championship - the first-rung of the Mazda Road to Indy program - at Sebring just one week prior, the entire Afterburner Autosport squad was excited to take on the challenges of street racing in St. Petersburg. Despite having three series rookies behind the wheel, everyone under the team awning was confident of success.
It didn't take long for the Afterburner Autosport name to begin showing up near the top of 31-car scorsheets, 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 Series season-opener, all three Afterburner Autosport drivers were keen to post multiple quick laps in the sole qualifying session. For Gooden,...
MINNEAPOLIS, MIN. (January 31, 2012) – Afterburner Autosport is very pleased to announce
that junior formula car up-and-comers Wyatt Gooden and Jake Eidson will be behind the wheels
for the Minnesota-based team when the 2013 season gets underway via the Cooper Tires
Winterfest in Florida. The race-winning duo will make their USF2000 Championship debuts in
the 'off-season' championship, giving Afterburner Autosport one of the most dynamic driver line-
ups in the Mazda Road to Indy series.
After a solid rookie campaign in the USF2000 Championship that featured four top-10s,
Afterburner Autosport enters its second season of series action focused on joining the front-
running ranks and challenging for race wins. In signing F2000 Championship Series runner-
up Gooden and Skip Barber Summer Series Champion Edison as part of an expanded multi-
car effort in the first rung of the Mazda Road to Indy program, the two-time SCCA Formula
Continental National Championship-winning team is poised to do just that. Add in the fact that
Eidson was fourth fastest in the year-end Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy test at
the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Gooden has impressed in private testing, and the team is
enhancing its engineering department - to be announced shortly - the stage is set for a breakout
"We are very excited to have Jake and Wyatt behind the wheels when the Winterfest gets
underway at Sebring," stated team principal Tim Walsh. "Both drivers are extremely talented
and have impressed us with their maturity and attitude. The goal now is to give them all the tools
needed to challenge for race wins."
"Running the Winterfest at Sebring will be a great opportunity for Afterburner and I to get a head
start on the season, and see where we stand," commented Gooden. "We work well together, and
I know they're going to provide a good car, so I'm looking forward to the task next week."
"I'm very excited to do the first round of the USF2000 Winterfest with...