St. Petersburg, Fla. – Juncos Racing finished off one of their most successful seasons in the Indy Pro 2000 Championships Presented by Cooper Tires this past weekend on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. Sting Ray Robb claimed both poles and one win, along with setting a new qualifying and race record, while teammate Artem Petrov delivered the team one more podium for the season.
The 2020 Indy Pro 2000 Championship concluded this weekend with a doubleheader Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Presented by Allied Building Products on the 1.8 mile, 14-Turn street course. Robb headed into the weekend as the Indy Pro 2000 Champion after clinching the championship a few weeks ago in New Jersey. Juncos Racing also won the 2020 Indy Pro 2000 team championship before entering the final two races.
The weekend kicked off Friday with one practice session followed by the first qualifying session. Robb driving the No. 2 Firehouse and Goodheart Animal Clinic/Big Idaho Potato/Juncos Racing dominated qualifying claiming the pole for Round 16. Petrov, who made his first run on the streets of St. Petersburg, driving the No. 42 Road To Success/Juncos Racing car qualified 5th and Nate Aranda driving the No. 69 CRAFT 1861/ We Pursuit/ Juncos Racing car took the 12th starting position.
The field returned to the track Saturday morning for the final qualifying session of the year. Robb once again proved to be the fastest car on track claiming the pole for Round 17 and setting a new qualifying track record, beating the record he previously held. Petrov qualified sixth and Aranda qualified 12th.
The Indy Pro 2000 series continued later that day with Round 16. Robb continued his dominating performance to lead the entire 25 lap caution free race to take home the win along with setting a new track record. Petrov made his way through the field to finish on the podium in third. Aranda picked up a few positions to finish 10th.
The 2020 season came to a close Sunday with Round 17. Robb led the field to the green flag, however a caution came out before the first lap could be completed after multiple cars were involved in an incident in Turn-1. Once the race returned to green Robb fell back in the field during the restart but would recover to finish fifth and set another new track record. Petrov was battling his way through the field before making slight contact with the wall forcing him to pit late in the race, ultimately ending his day in the ninth position. Aranda, who was involved in the first incident on Lap 1, went on to make his way into the Top-10, finishing his season best in eighth.
Juncos Racing finished the 2020 Indy Pro 2000 Championship with 18 podiums including nine wins and six poles and was awarded both the team and driver championship. The team has now won a total of five team (2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2020) and five driver championships (2010 -Conor Daly, 2014 -Spencer Pigot, 2017- Victor Franzoni, 2018-Rinus VeeKay, 2020–Sting Ray Robb) in the Indy Pro 2000 series.
Robb’s consistency throughout the season by only finishing outside the Top-5 only once, along with earning seven wins and nine poles gave him the necessary points to secure the championship. Robb was awarded with Road to Indy scholarship that will allow him to move to the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Championship for the 2021 season. Teammate Petrov finished fourth after a tight battle for second in the championship. Petrov collected seven podiums including two wins and one pole throughout the season. Aranda, who drove a part time season competing in 10 of the 17 races finished in the Top-10 seven times.
Juncos Racing Team Owner Ricardo Juncos said, “This year was the most challenging, but rewarding years since we joined the Indy Pro 2000 Championship 12 years ago. The performance was incredible, by far the best we have had as a team and would have not been accomplished without everyone on the team putting forth their greatest efforts. The fact that everyone continued to push themselves up until the final lap at St. Pete yesterday shows how much dedication and passion each crew member and driver had this season. I am so proud of what Sting Ray, Artem, and Nate were able to accomplish this season. From the beginning of the season until now Nate has shown so much progress and has developed so much on track. Artem did a fantastic job all year and was one of the strongest drivers in the field, he was so close to finishing second in the championship. Sting Ray’s consistency and focus proved to be the key to winning the championship this year. Once he picked up his first win back at Mid-Ohio he made his way to the top of the championship, ultimately winning the championship by almost 100 points. Winning both the team and driver championship would not have been possible without everyone who makes up Juncos Racing, and I cannot thank each person enough for putting their trust in our organization. Thank you to all of our crew, drivers, the families, partners, and sponsors for making this season one we will never forget.”
“This season would not have been possible without the work put into by everyone Andersen Promotions. 2020 has been extremely difficult and affected everyone around the world. Dan Andersen and his organization had to make very hard decisions during these challenging times but handled everything in such an incredible manner. We support 100% of the efforts and decisions made by Andersen Promotions. They not only got us back on track for a full season but worked hard with the IndyCar Series to make sure the safety and health of the teams and fans were the first priority each event. We cannot thank everyone enough at Andersen, IndyCar, Cooper Tires, and our other series partners for making this season possible.”
“Lastly, I would like to extend a huge thank you to all of the amazing fans. Whether or not we were on track they continued to engage with our team and show their support. We were thrilled to announce our eSports program earlier this year, that has given us a way to open and give fans and drivers access to Juncos Racing. We are looking forward to growing our program both online and on track as we move into the 2021 season.”
Sting Ray Robb: “The last two rounds of the Indy Pro 2000 Championship went pretty well for us. We qualified on pole for the first race and then again qualified on pole for the second race this time setting a qualifying track record which was pretty amazing. Race 1 went very well for us as we ended up walking away with a great win as well as the track race lap record. The second race did not go how we wanted it to after a made a mistake on the restart that allowed a few of the other drivers to get by me. We were still able to show our strong pace and once again set a new track lap record, it was just unfortunate we could not get the result we were looking for. A win and Top-5 was still a pretty special way to close out the season. The Juncos crew have given me an incredible car all season and I cannot thank them enough for all of their hard work. It was amazing to have all of my friends, family, investors, and partners who were able to come out to St. Pete this weekend to celebrate with us, so a huge thank you to everyone! We are now focusing on 2021 with the scholarship in Indy Lights and hope to be making more announcements soon!”
Artem Petrov: “Last weekend did not go like we expected. The first race went well and I finished third. The beginning of the last race went fine, but then I made a mistake when I touched the wall and broke the suspension, causing me to retire the race. I ended up finishing fourth in the championship, which is not where I hoped to finish, but I will come back stronger next year. Thank you to everyone at Juncos Racing, my mechanics, engineers, and coaches for all of their help this season.”
Nate Aranda: “What a year it has been. The team or should I say family that I’ve been apart of this year was bar none. The goals I had coming into this year were achieved and I learned so much. These last two races were a perfect representation of what I was taught this year. Sending love to everyone on the team and the Road To Indy series!”