August 2, 2020
Sting Ray Robb wins his first The Road to Indy Pro2000 race
In Episode 286, October 20, 2019 titled “Sting Ray Born to Drive”, I wrote about Sting Ray Robb. The Payette, Idaho, 18 year old racer caught my eye for a couple of reasons the most obvious his name, Sting Ray.
Sting Ray’s dad Larry was a drag racer and his mom, Kimmie was an autocross racer. Neither raced anything above the local level but both enjoyed racing and fast cars! Obviously Corvette’s were amongst their favorites as they named their only child, Sting Ray.
As a former FFA Advisor/Agriculture Advisor I noticed that Sting Ray was an active member, now Alumni of the Payette FFA Chapter. He served as a chapter officer and attended the FFA National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, where his race team, Juncos Racing, is headquartered. I not sure if he was racing for Juncos when he and his fellow FFA members visited the National FFA Convention.
Another reason I was interested in his career was one of his sponsors, Idaho Big Potato. I am unsure how many racers have such a unique sponsor. And as stated in October episode, I think Maine Potato Board needs to step up and sponsor the County’s own, Austin Theriault!
The Race Win
Sting Ray Robb began in The Road to Indy Pro 2000 Series two years ago at the age of 16. In his 49th start July 30, 2020 he won his first race. He has multiple podium finishes with many of those the runner up spot.
Due to COVID 19, the Pro 2000 has had to juggle their schedule to salvage the 2020 seventeen race season. This past Wednesday and Thursday the teams were at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio for a triple-header. That is correct, a triple header.
Sting Ray Robb finished tenth in the first race on Wednesday July 29. He started in third place. Robb mentioned that after the race he relied on a short memory of the mediocre finish and knew that the Juncos Racing team would help him improve in the doubleheader on Thursday.
Thursday brought new hope and encouragement when Robb missed a pole position start by less than .02 seconds to pole winner Braden Eves, from New Albany, Ohio. Robb’s team mate, Artern Petrov, St. Petersburg, Russia, won race two with Robb finishing third.
With help from race reporter, Steve Wittich, this is how Sting Ray Robb’s finish on the top of the leaderboard happened.
After two races were in the books of the Mid Ohio Tripleheader some may have been thinking race three may be anticlimactic. Juncos Racing veteran Sting Ray Robb and the 16 other drivers made sure that wasn’t the case. Robb, who made his Indy Pro 2000 debut in 2017, drove from fifth to victory lane to celebrate an emotional first win.
“I started crying halfway through the in-lap, so that’s the only explanation I have for the emotions right now! It’s almost overwhelming,” said Robb. “All this time we’ve been waiting and working hard and finally our day came. I’m so thankful for all the opportunities I’ve gotten in the Road to Indy the last few years. The car was stellar, we should have been on pole, but we were able to get into the lead and hold on. But Hunter was hot on my tail, huge props to him.”
Regarding the mayhem of the first few laps, Robb said, “I think it actually helped calmed me down, kind of the calm in the storm. I think that comes from all my experience here over the past few years. I’m thankful that I got through all that, so hopefully it opens the floodgates.”
Cumberland Motor Club Mega Autocross August 7-9 at Loring
The Annual CMC Mega Autocross at Loring will be a non spectator event for the first time due to COVID restrictions. The ride along portion will also disappear. However, the folks who want to see the cars may be able to see them at Burger Boy in Caribou Friday evening when they cruise into town.
One sure way to see the event is to enter a car for the three day event. Friday will be a test and tune for free while the autocross takes place Saturday and Sunday. On-line registration is recommended and can be done until midnight August 5, 2020
On site registration is an option for each of the three days if you get to the venue on the north end of the runway early in the morning. More information may be obtained on the Cumberland Motor Club Facebook page:
IMSA Road America race best of the day
In my opinion, the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship action at Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Sunday was some of the best racing I have seen in a long time. Races in each of the four IMSA classes, DPi, LMP2, GTLM and GTD were close. A downpour with less than one hour to go in the 2 hour 40 minute race changed the results dramatically.
The press releases from Team Penske/Acura and Corvette Racing tell the stories well and are presented here:
In the premier Daytona Prototype International category, the Acura Team Penske duo of Taylor and Castroneves claimed their first victory of the 2020 season in come-from-behind fashion, as Castroneves passed Renger van der Zande’s Cadillac in the final 10 minutes of the race. Once in front, Castroneves quickly opened up a half-second lead, then held on as the heavy rains returned and the race ended under caution.
The fourth race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season started under partly cloudy skies and remained dry for the first 90 minutes. Starting from the pole, Taylor had an early race lead of just over three seconds, while Dane Cameron in the #6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 battled the Mazda of Harry Tincknell for second.
Cameron and Tincknell continued to duel following the first round of pit stops, and eventually made contact, resulting in another stop for Cameron to repair damaged bodywork and a cut tire. The unscheduled stop and a drive-through penalty for contact effectively ended the victory hopes for the #6 Acura, with further damage sustained when co-driver Juan Pablo Montoya had late-race contact with an LMP2 entry in the rain, and had to stop again for repairs, leading to a disappointing eighth-place finish.
At the front of the field, Taylor continued to lead through the first hour before handing over to co-driver Castroneves. Briefly dropping to third following the driver change, Castroneves pulled off a clever inside/outside pass of both Mazda prototypes in the downhill run to Turn Five to regain the lead. With just under an hour remaining, a light rain turned into a downpour in the middle of scheduled pit stops, and officials halted the race for 21 minutes following a nearby lightning strike.
The race resumed with just under 30 minutes to go and Castroneves running second to van der Zande, both on wet-weather “rain” tires. When the latter ran wide exiting the final corner, Castroneves moved into the lead for the third and final time, as the rain returned and a multi-car GT crash resulted in the race ending under caution.
Let’s go racing,
Soli Deo Gloria (John 3:30 from Sting Ray Robbs fire sut HE > I)