GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND (September 1, 2019) – Sting Ray Robb picked up another podium finish this weekend in the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. Sting Ray earned his first pole of the season and finished on that second tier podium. Portland International Raceway (PIR) is a 1.964 mile, 12-Turn road course located in Portland, OR. With the full Road to Indy series running alongside the IndyCar Championship for the weekend, it promised to be a great weekend of wheel-to-wheel racing for our Pacific Northwest fans! The Indy Pro 2000 Championship weekend kicked off with four test sessions. Sting Ray finished P1 in three of the four practice sessions.
The first of the two qualifying sessions took place Friday afternoon for the Indy Pro 2000 field. After narrowly missing the pole multiple times this season, Sting Ray Robb (Payette, Idaho) driving the No.2 GO Out Local / Juncos Racing car had his strongest run of the year earning his first pole start in Indy Pro 2000. The field returned to the grid Saturday morning for the second qualifying session. The field of 13 qualifying drivers fought hardfor the pole position throughout the session. Robb once again returned to the front row to start Race 2 after qualifying second.
The Indy Pro 2000 grid was set for Race 1, which was later Saturday afternoon. Once the green flag waived, Sting Ray had the position to remain the leader, with everyone else behind him. In the first turn, the car directly behind Robb failed to properly brake, and in the words of the announcer, “Pile drove” Sting Ray’s car, spinning him clear around in the run-off area to face the oncoming onslaught of multiple cars that had gone off track and were shuffled around in Turn-1 as well.
The unfortunate Turn 1 incident put Robb toward the back of the pack in eighth after starting from the front row. Even with significant damage to his car, Sting Ray was running strong throughout the first half of the race, working his way back up to 5th place with his sights set on a podium finish. However, due to collateral damage from the initial Turn 1 incident Sting Ray was forced to pull into the pit as his car would not shift out of 4th gear. After a very quick pit-stop, he returned back to the track in ninth place, ultimately finishing eighth.
The weekend concluded late Sunday afternoon with Race 2. The Indy Pro 2000 field stayed green for the entire 30-lap race. Sting Ray starting from that second position, once again had his eye on a podium finish. From the drop of the green flag, Sting Ray drove a strong clean race finishing with a hard won second place podium.
After a successful weekend in front of 200+ family members, friends and Team SR2 fans who drove from Idaho and the Northwest to watch him, Sting Ray remains vigilant in his fight to gain points in the Indy Pro 2000 Championship.
“It was a great weekend and I think we made a good step forward,” said Robb. “My progression as a driver and us as a team throughout the weekend was evident. I think we did really well. We were on top in all but one of the test sessions which really set the stage for a great weekend of racing. Yesterday’s Turn 1 incident was really unfortunate, but it’s just one of those racing incidents that happens. It was really difficult to watch that win slip awayas I was spun around and going backwards through the run off area. To have that taken away from me in the first turn of the race was really frustrating. I was able to get the car back on track and despite the broken rear end, was able to turn second fastest lap times of the race.
So, we knew we had a pretty solid car set up going into today.
Race 2 was a good recovery from the events of Race 1 and I am grateful to get that second tier podium finish. Since this is the closest race to my home state of Idaho, it was an honor and privilege to have so many amazing people here who attended the race from all the surrounding states to support and cheer for me. I want to thank the Juncos Racing crew for their hard work, my partners at Go Out Local, Intervention.com, Idaho Bone Collector, Trademark Dental, Treasure Valley Windshield, Fairly Reliable Bobs, Munk Family Dental, OMP and Big Idaho Potato Truck, along with all of my supporters (you know who you are). We will be ready in a couple weeks to be back on track for the finale in Laguna Seca.”
Sting Ray will race in the season grand finale at the Grand Prix of Monterey on September 20th – 22nd. If you are interested in learning more about Sting Ray and joining him on his ride to IndyCar