American Prescott Campbell scores first career podium with an incredible drive through the field
MILLVILLE, NJ (October 11, 2020) – Exclusive Autosport made its inaugural trip to the east coast track of New Jersey Motorsports Park this past weekend, taking to the facility’s 12-turn, 2.14-mile road course for Rounds 13, 14, and 15 of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship. The Andersen Companies USF2000 Grand Prix at NJMP took place over a three-day period, as a stand-alone event away from the IndyCar program. California’s Prescott Campbell led the team to capture his first podium within a strong overall weekend performance, while fellow SoCal resident Christian Brooks fought masterfully through the field in every race to post a trio of top-10 finishes, including a fourth in Race 1 to solidify his spot in the top-five in the championship standings as the leading rookie. Oregon’s Josh Pierson had a breakout weekend as well, running in the top-10 throughout the weekend en route to his best finishes of the year.
“I am thrilled Prescott found the podium this past weekend at NJMP,” said Michael Duncalfe, Team Principal. “I have always believed that he belonged up there! It is so great to see it all come together for him. Josh (Pierson) had his best weekend of the year as well. He has really taken everything we have thrown at him this year and put it into practice. Christian Brooks had all the pace to be on the podium this weekend, however on track incidents set him back. We are certainly more determined than ever heading into St. Petersburg. As a team, we have had success at St. Pete in the past and I am confident the EA crew will deliver fast cars right off the trailer for the drivers. I am looking forward to heading to Florida (again!) and getting this event underway.”
The tripleheader event kicked off early Friday morning with three unofficial test sessions. The Exclusive Autosport drivers consistently topped the charts throughout every session, giving them confidence heading into the official weekend. Saturday morning began with the only official practice of the weekend under cloudy, and somewhat foggy, skies. Brooks topped the charts of the practice, providing quality feedback to the team. Lunchtime brought Qualifying 1 and the EA team was anxious to back-up their practice times. With the field separated by only one second, it was a tight fight for the pole position. At the end of the session, Brooks had snagged the third position for Race 1, while Campbell finished fifth, as Pierson rounding out the team with a 13th. The opening race of the tripleheader took place late in the afternoon and as soon as the green flag dropped, everyone was jockeying for positions. Brooks immediately pushed forward to attack for a win continuously batting with the top-four drivers. A last lap move for the second position would see him forced off the track, but he was able to continue, only dropping back to fourth. Campbell had his best race of his USF2000 career, dicing it up with the some of the best in the field, grabbing his first top-five with a fifth-place finish. Pierson, 14, started from his best starting position of the season in 13th, where he would finish, as well.
Sunday morning began with Qualifying 2 under a cloudy sky with afternoon rain lurking. The team was poised for some fast qualifying times, however, a late red flag would end the session early and this caught the EA team out from setting their fastest laps. Only Pierson was able to improve his best starting spot of the season, by placing himself in the 10th position. The drivers had their work cut out for them in Race 2, with some sub-optimal starting positions. Right away, Brooks was on a mission to move forward and every few laps he grabbed another position, finally slotting into the seventh position in the final tally. Both Campbell and Pierson ran where they started, finishing tenth and 11th, respectively. The result was Pierson’s best career finish in 10th.
The Race 3 line up was set by the driver’s fastest laps during Race 2. As a result of his pace, Brooks lined up in fifth, Campbell in 14th, and Pierson in 15th. With the rain looming, Race 3 got underway and the EA drivers began to move forward. A lap two incident involving a pair of lead drivers scattered the front pack and Brooks went off-course, losing valuable track position. As soon as that happened, rain began to fall, and all drivers were called onto pit lane to change to the Cooper rain tires. Prescott restarted in the fourth position, while Josh was 11th. Brooks would restart in 13th after his incident. The three drivers really showed their ability of racing in the rain as they all would work their way through the field with exceedingly impressive drives to the front. Campbell proved his place in the USF2000 series with his strongest and best finish thus far. He would grab his first podium with a third-place finish. Pierson worked his way up to the 7th spot, but a mid-race incident on-track forced him to fall back. With a bent car, he still muscled his way to the 10th position, matching his best finish of 2020. Restarting in 13th, Brooks had a daunting challenge ahead of him on the extremely wet track. His perseverance and driving skills pushed him to recover to a stunning fifth-place finish.
The team will now head south to where the 2020 season started, the street course of St. Petersburg, Florida on October 23-25. The team is extremely motivated for the season finale after the great turnout at NJMP.
In the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship standings, Brooks continues to be consistent, remaining in the fifth position in the championship, just eight points out of fourth. Campbell’s impressive weekend has moved him from the 15th position to 11th, while Pierson moves up two spots in the points to 18th.
Exclusive Autosport is pleased to be able to partner with great companies, such as Cambridge Global Payments (https://ca.cambridgefx.com/exclusive-autosport/) and AERO™ Advanced Paint Technology (www.rethinkpaint.com), which is used on all their race cars.