DeFrancesco Excited for Oval Return
 August 17, 2021| 
  • Team News
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  • DeFrancesco aims to repeat his Indy Pro 2000 World Wide Technology Raceway win in Indy Lights
  • Jones Soda backs DeFrancesco's Indy Lights campaign with Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport
  • Indy Lights championship resumes in St. Louis this weekend

MADISON, IL – Miami-based Italian-Canadian racer Devlin DeFrancesco returns to Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires competition this weekend with a new livery, new logo, new sponsor, new helmet and suit design but the same impressive oval racing speed he demonstrated in 2020.

On his way to second place and rookie of the year honors in Indy Pro 2000 last year, DeFrancesco dominated the race at St. Louis' World Wide Technology Raceway - leading from pole to the checkered flag.

Last week in testing for Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport at the 1.25-mile oval, DeFrancesco dominated the day by completing the most laps (265) and recording the fastest time with a lap of 157.619 mph.

The oval speed was not new, but DeFrancesco has taken the opportunity during the recent break in the calendar to introduce a host of new items, including the No.17 car's livery, his personal logo, plus his helmet and suit designs. All will be on display for the first time at World Wide Technology Raceway.

The 21-year-old's Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires campaign has also added additional corporate support with the Seattle, WA-based Jones Soda joining the team alongside clean-power company Powertap Hydrogen; Kimoa – the fashion, clothing, and accessories brand founded by Fernando Alonso; world-class racing simulator manufacturer AIS; Apple’s largest premium retail partner, Simply Mac; software and services company Fyllo and Sol Yoga.

Andretti-prepared cars have dominated the past two Indy Lights races staged at World Wide Technology Raceway, with Oliver Askew taking pole, the fastest lap and the win in 2019. In 2018 Andretti dominated with Colton Herta taking pole and leading the most laps while Ryan Norman took the fastest lap and scored the victory. 

This weekend’s action can be seen on NBC’s Peacock service; on REVTV in Canada; and on The-Race.com’s YouTube channel in all other international markets.

DEVLIN DEFRANCESCO Q&A

Q: What makes you so fast at World Wide Technology Raceway?

A: “I did my first ever oval last year at Lucas Oil Raceway, and we came here for the next race in Indy Pro 2000. I've always loved fast corners, and ovals seem to feel really natural for me.
"It's a little strange because this is something that I never even thought about when I was younger, but winning here from pole really opened my eyes, and now I have to say I love ovals.”

Q: How did the test go last week?
A:
“I was very excited about coming back to World Wide Technology Raceway but now, having tested the Indy Lights car here for Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport, I can't wait to go racing this weekend.
"This place was great in Indy Pro 2000, but in Indy Lights, this place is so fast! I can't even imagine what it is like in an IndyCar around here.
"We had an awesome test. My Powertap car was fast all day; we clocked the fastest lap of the day and completed more laps than anybody. Apart from it being incredibly hot, it really was the perfect day. Our goal is now to replicate that twice this week.”

Q: How have you stayed in race shape during the extended break in the calendar?
A
: “We haven't been on track in the Indy Lights car, but I have been incredibly busy since the Mid-Ohio weekend preparing for the final four races of the season. I've done a million laps in karting – on track every week to keep my reflexes super sharp. I've also been working out with a new trainer who comes from a boxing background. He has been absolutely kicking my butt. I get home from sessions with him, and I'm ready to collapse.
"He certainly has me more than ready to come out swinging this weekend.”

Q: Tell us about all the changes fans will see this weekend?
A
: "We've got a lot of new things that fans will notice this weekend. While our No.17 Indy Lights car still wears the same colors, we have a new almost-retro-themed livery that looked awesome last weekend. 
"I've got a new helmet design, new race suit – it's a complete refresh for the second half of the season.
"This week, I unveiled my new logo with my little devil mascot – I love the cheeky look on his face and maple leaf on his tail.
"We're also welcoming Jones Soda this weekend as a new sponsor. I'm very fortunate to have a great group of companies supporting me, and we'll be working hard this weekend to put them in victory lane."



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