Indy Pro 2000 Squad Aiming to Turn Page in Portland
First-year Indy Pro 2000 team Abel Motorsports of Louisville, KY, is looking forward to getting to Portland International Raceway in Oregon at the end of this week, continuing their quest for a Championship in their inaugural full-time season of racing on the Road to Indy.
The Abel team has spent a hectic week preparing for the year’s next-to-last road course doubleheader, part of Grand Prix of Portland IndyCar weekend. Driver Parker Thompson of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, sits third in the Championship despite struggling on the last two race weekends. He’s still within striking distance of the top spot in the points chase.
“I can’t wait to get to Portland, and turn right AND left,” said Thompson. “This Abel Motorsports team deserves so much more, these last two weekends of this season. We’ve had our difficulties this last month, but we have a lot to be proud of this year. I’m ready to go out West and showcase what we’re able to do as a team.” Thompson won the season’s first two rounds on the temporary circuit in St. Petersburg, FL, in March. “The goal is to win now, and help set up this team, and my teammate Jacob Abel, so they can win a championship next season.”
The 18-year-old Abel is working overtime, beginning his freshman year at Butler University in Indianapolis, while pursuing his ultimate goal of becoming a top-level IndyCar driver. “It should be good going to Portland. We’ve had a lot of pace these past few weekends, but we just haven’t been able to put it all together. We’re going to keep pushing and get the results this team deserves.”
Team Principal Bill Abel knows how tough his group is in the face of adversity. After battling tire and mechanical issues at World-Wide Technology Raceway outside St. Louis last week, the team worked late into Saturday night. They had to replace an engine in their #51 car and swap oval track setups for road course configurations for both machines to get set for the Portland challenge. “These guys work incredibly hard. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished this year, learning how to operate within the Road to Indy. We haven’t done everything yet that we’ve wanted to, but we’re learning and growing, and we’ll be ready to run up front the rest of 2019, and throughout 2020.”
Jacob Abel stands 10thin the Championship with four rounds remaining in the season and hopes to move up in the final standings in September. He’ll resume his quest in qualifying this Friday afternoon, with Race 1 of the weekend starting at 525pm PDT on Saturday, August 31. Race 2 takes place Sunday at 3:10pm PDT, September 1. Live timing and scoring is available at www.indypro2000.com.