Podium for Lockhart in USF Juniors Debut Weekend
 March 28, 2023| 
  • Team News
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – It was the debut weekend for the USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires competitors as they descended on the bumpy Sebring International Raceway to get their 2023 campaign started. After his first two open-wheel race wins earlier this month, VRD Racing’s Jimmie Lockhart added another podium result to his resume en route to a trio of top-10 results. 

With a single practice session prior to qualifying, Lockhart qualified his #48 entry in the fourth position and lined up for the first of three wheel-to-wheel races from the outside of row two. Looking to make his way to victory lane, Lockhart jumped into the third position and defended early as he tried to make advances on the lead duo. Falling back as the race wore on, Lockhart crossed the line seventh.

“It was a disappointing result for us in race one for sure,” explained the VRD Racing driver. “We found a small issue with the car that we think caused some lack in speed and have fixed that problem. While we are cautiously optimistic, I am looking forward to the next race tomorrow.”

Returning to the track Friday in a jam-packed two-day weekend, Lockhart saw the track on two occasions throughout the day as two more opportunities to stand on the podium would be presented. After the first couple of laps, Lockhart found himself in the second position. Looking to fight for the race win, a slight miscue saw the #48 machine drop two wheels into the grass as he fell down the running order. Running in the third position, four seconds behind the lead duo, Lockhart and a fellow competitor made contact pushing him further down the order to a 10th-place finish.

Race three saw Lockhart start in the third position courtesy of his lap time from race two as he immediately jumped into P2 during the opening lap. Falling back to third on lap three, Lockhart then fell back to sixth with six laps remaining. Moving back to fifth courtesy of an off from a driver in front, Lockhart was up to fourth when the white flag flew and gained another position on the final lap to finish third, his first career USF Juniors podium result. With a podium finish, Lockhart scored the fastest lap of the race, and the third fastest lap of the weekend against vastly more experienced drivers.

Lockhart added, “It was a quick race as it stayed green from start to finish. I kind of feel like a threw one away in this race. We had the speed to fight for the win but too many mistakes on my part. A huge thank you to VRD Racing for all their help and support. I will work hard to make sure they are on the podium at the next race.”

Looking to continue his podium run, Jimmie Lockhart will return to the famed Barber Motorsports Park over the INDYCAR Series weekend to compete in rounds four, five and six of the USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires program.
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