USF Juniors Wraps Inaugural Year with Championship Celebration
 September 19, 2022| 
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AUSTIN, Texas – After a dramatic two days of racing at Circuit of The Americas, a large contingent of drivers, teams, sponsors and officials gathered yesterday evening at the track’s Velocity Lounge to celebrate a successful conclusion to the USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires’ inaugural season. A total of more than $301,000 was distributed in prize money and awards.

Four drivers arrived at the triple-header finale with dreams of becoming the series champion, but as had been the case since the opening pair of races in April at Ozarks International Raceway in Missouri, Mac Clark emerged as the top dog, securing the championship crown with a trio of podium finishes for Texas-based DEForce Racing. Clark, 18, from Milton, Ont., Canada, claimed the honors over 14-year-old Sam Corry, from Cornelius, N.C., who scored a fine victory yesterday morning but ultimately fell just 24 points shy of Clark’s final tally of 393 points.

Clark’s impressive blend of speed and consistency, earning five wins, 10 pole positions and 12 podium finishes during the 16-race season, earned him a check for $221,125 to advance into the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship in 2023.

Corry’s teammate, Nikita Johnson, also, 14, from Gulfport, Fla., continued his impressive streak of form by claiming two poles, two wins and three fastest race laps this weekend, which proved enough to vault him ahead of VRD stablemate Alessandro De Tullio, from Miami, Fla., in the final standings. The trio’s combined tally of 11 wins, five poles and no fewer than 30 podium finishes enabled VRD Racing to clinch the Team Championship even prior to the final weekend of action.

Corry also took home the coveted Hi-Tide Spirit Award, while another highlight of the evening included presentation of the Makita Tools Mechanic of the Year Award to Omar Lopez, crew chief for Clark.

USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires Award Winners

Champion: scholarship package valued at $221,125 to advance to USF2000 in 2023
–  Mac Clark, DEForce Racing
Second Place ($44,200) – Sam Corry, VRD Racing
Third Place ($24,200) – Nikita Johnson, VRD Racing
Team Champion ($7,500) – VRD Racing
Hi-Tide Spirit Award ($1,000) – Sam Corry, VRD Racing
Hard Charger Award ($1,000) – Jake Bonilla, DEForce Racing
YACademy Move of the Year ($1,000) – Jeremy Fairbairn, Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport
Makita Tools Mechanic of the Year ($1,000) – Omar Lopez, DEForce Racing
Original Artwork by Jim Swintal – Mac Clark, DEForce Racing

QUOTEBOARD:

Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions: “I couldn’t be happier with our inaugural season. Our team put together a great series of events, the competition was fierce and the talent of these kids is remarkable. I was really impressed, especially this weekend, and I think we launched a great program for young people to come in, get training and move up to the Road to Indy.”

Chris Pantani, Director of Motorsports, Cooper Tires: “On behalf of Cooper Tire, I’m excited to be part of the inaugural USF Juniors season and this championship celebration. This season we witnessed some new and exciting talent that will be making their way up the ranks to the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires. The vision of Dan Andersen, and the entire Andersen Promotions staff, created this new series to bridge the gap and allow young drivers to begin their racing careers in a professional and educational setting.”

Mac Clark, winner of USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires: “I am super excited to be here at the USF Juniors banquet. It was a lovely event put on by everyone at Andersen Promotions. It is great to have the whole team here to celebrate the championship win. Winning the championship meant everything to us. We worked so hard for it and to be entering USF2000 next year with the scholarship is incredible. This first-year series has done an amazing job of preparing us drivers for USF2000 and the Road to Indy to come. I am very grateful for the opportunities from Andersen Promotions and Cooper Tires and look forward to 2023.”

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