Sowery Claims Third in Indy Lights Grand Prix of Detroit Presented by Cooper Tires
 June 14, 2021| 
  • Team News
Toby

Detroit, Michigan – Juncos Racing’s Toby Sowery earned his third straight podium this past weekend during the Indy Lights Grand Prix of Detroit Presented by Cooper Tires. Sowery finished third in Round 7 and just off the podium in fourth for Round 8. Teammate Sting Ray Robb finished 10th during both rounds of the doubleheader event.

The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship returned to 2.35 mile, 13-Turn road course located on Belle Isle for the first time since 2012.  One practice session followed by qualifying for Round 7 took place Friday under very hot and humid conditions. Sowery, driving the No. 51 Juncos Racing entry, qualified third while Robb, driving the No. 2 Road To Indy scholarship entry, qualified ninth.

Teams returned to the track Saturday morning for the final qualifying session. Two red flags during the 20-minute qualifying session for Round 8 left little time for drivers to put in their fastest lap. Sowery and Robb, who were both about to put in their fastest laps, would not be allowed to cross the finish line in time before the final red flag came out. Sowery would settle for the sixth starting position and Robb would take the 11th position.  

Just a few short hours later drivers lined up for Round 7. The entire 25-lap race would go caution-free, leaving few chances for passing. Sowery, who started third, would finish on the podium for the third straight time. Robb was moving up in the field before contact by another driver forced him to lose positions during the final laps and he would settle for 10th.  

The weekend concluded Sunday morning with Round 8. More on-track action and two cautions took place during the 30-lap race. Sowery, who started sixth, made his way up to fourth during the opening laps and would finish the day in fourth. Robb, who started 11th passed his way up to sixth by the last few laps, but after the final caution during the one-lap shoot out he would fall back in the field to finish 10th.

Juncos Racing Team Owner Ricardo Juncos said, “I am very proud of all that we have accomplished as a team after only eight rounds this season. We have been working on rebuilding our Indy Lights team since the beginning of the year, so to be on the podium multiple times already is a great accomplishment. We have a small, but determined group between our crew and both drivers, and I am so proud of how well we have all worked together. Toby has done a fantastic job, and I am confident he will be on top of the podium soon. Sting Ray continues to learn and has really started to show his confidence by making some great on-track passes. We still have a lot of the championship left and I know we will continue to find success on track. I want to thank everyone for their commitment and hard work, along with all of the wonderful people who come out to support us each weekend.”

Sting Ray Robb: “During Race 1 we had a really good run going until contact with another driver put us in the wall while fighting for sixth. Sad to end our day with what could’ve been an awesome finish if not for another driver’s lack of respect. Then in Race 2 we had another great run going from 11th place to start and when the yellow flag came out with three laps left in the race. We proceeded two more laps under caution and then got the green flag with one lap to go. Unfortunately at that restart, I ended up too high on the race line in the marbles, which literally felt like driving on ice, where I had to fight to keep the car off the wall. In the meantime several cars freight-trained past me on the inside line. Not the finish we were gunning for, but happy with the progress made this weekend. Big shout out to the Juncos crew for giving me a car that was able to battle through the field. As always, grateful for God's hand in safety and the lessons learned every race. Although some of these lessons have been tough, I know he is shaping and growing me to be all that I can be. On to the Road America GP next weekend!”

Toby Sowery: “Overall I feel we had a very strong weekend. We had a good outright pace and consistently improved the car each time we went on track. A bit of bad luck in qualifying really effected our second race as it’s extremely difficult to overtake in Detroit. Despite this, we made some progress at the start and managed to come in the top four again. It’s going to be a quick turn around but we should also be very strong in Road America!"

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