Hunter Yeany Gives TJ Speed Motorsports Their First Win of the USF Pro 2000 Season

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The USF Pro Championships Presented by Continental Tire descended on NOLA Motorsports Park this past weekend and it was a winning one for Indianapolis-based TJ Speed Motorsports. With three drivers piloting the green machines, Hunter Yeany scored his first win of the season, and the first win of 2024 for TJ Speed, as he went on to stand on the podium in all three races while Liam Sceats added a pair of top-ten finishes.

After a session-filled Friday that featured three test sessions and one practice session, Saturday would see qualifying one and two that would set the grids for races one and two and the first wheel-to-wheel action of the weekend. It was Hunter Yeany who led the way for the team clocking the second-fastest lap of the first qualifying session to secure a front-row starting spot as Liam Sceats put a pair of TJ Speed drivers in the top-ten, qualifying tenth in his first trip to NOLA Motorsports Park. David Morales put the trio of TJ drivers in the top-15 earning a lap time that would see him start race one from the inside of row eight. Yeany would go one spot better in qualifying two as he earned the pole position for race two on the weekend as he built the momentum needed to fight for a win with Sceats also improving his position, slotting into P8. All three TJ Speed drivers were able to improve their starting positions from race one to race two with Morales also leveling up to the 14th position.

With qualifying in the books, it was time to go racing, but it was disappointing for both Sceats and Morales. Sceats would go out on lap 12 with an issue that forced him to the sidelines and classified him 18th on the result sheets while Morales was involved in a three-car incident a lap later suffering too much damage to continue. However, Yeany was able to jump to the lead early and never look back. Pushing himself into clean air and pulling away from the field, Yeany earned his first career USF Pro 2000 victory and added another one to the resume of TJ Speed.

“Hunter did exactly what we spoke about pre-race,” explained Team Owner Tim Neff. “Getting out front early and running in clean air allowed Hunter to save some life in his tires and that was the difference as the race wore on. That’s one race done but we are aiming for three wins this weekend.”

Back to the track Sunday for races two and three on the weekend, it was Yeany who led the field to the green flag but was unable to hold his position at the front of the field. Battling hard with the eventual race winner, Yeany was able to secure some more valuable championship points finishing on the podium in the second position, his second podium result in as many days. Sceats rebounded from his race one DNF to finish eighth and turn a faster lap time than both the winner and Yeany while Morales failed to take the green flag due to the incident from the day prior.

Race three saw some drama on the opening lap as on several occasions, drivers were three and four wide entering the braking zones. Emerging in the top-ten were Yeany in third and Sceats just inside the top-ten in eighth. In a caution-free affair, both drivers managed to maintain their positions to finish third and eighth respectively.

Neff added, “We had the speed in St. Pete to compete but lacked the track position for much of it. Here, we proved that we could win.”

It will now be a one-month hiatus for TJ Speed as they shift the focus to their hometown event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the Indy Grand Prix for rounds six, seven, and eight over the May 9-11 weekend.

Photo Credit: RTD Media