“Going into my first triple-header weekend running in three different cars was pretty nerve wracking,” said Nathan Byrd. “The plan was to race a 100-lap Silver Crown Race, a 75-lap USF2000 race and a 30-lap Midget race – 205 laps all in the same night spread across three different series/cars. This was also going to be my debut in Silver Crown and USF2000.
“I went into the first practice session with a good amount of confidence because I had already completed 200 laps at LOR in Legacy Autosport’s other USF2000 car. I had a good idea of how the car needed to be driven and what line I needed to take to be fast. Boy was I in for a surprise…
“Let’s just say I was at a relative disadvantage in terms of preparedness for the race weekend but I learned a lot from my spotter and driving coach Alex Baron, a former INDYCAR driver who watched my practice footage and spotted any issue almost immediately.
“Unfortunately, things did not go according to plan. The culprit was mother nature. Rain was expected pretty much all day and there was a very slim chance we’d be able to get any racing in, let alone all the racing in that day. However, against a lot of people’s expectations, we actually got a span of time with no rain, managed to dry the track and ended up being able to practice/qualify the Silver Crown cars and Midgets. This concluded my day on Friday as the rain cut short the Indy Pro 2000 race only five laps in. There was a semi-scramble for me to get ready for the USF2000 race as the Indy Pro 2000 race was about to start, but those efforts quickly subsided as we realized there was no way the rain was going to stay out of the picture for much longer.
“Heading into race day on Saturday I felt pretty nervous that I may not have the physical stamina necessary to run all three races in relative quick succession; it was something I had never done before. The USF2000 cars are probably some of the most physical cars I’ve driven with how hard it is to turn the steering wheel, and going from car to car was really only something I had done with two different cars before, but not three and definitely not with two cars I was just about to have my debut in.
“The good of the USF2000 race is that I finished the entire race and learned a lot about formula car racing on an oval and how to deal with a car. I was able to learn how to adapt to a formula car. Overall, a great learning experience and happy I was able to finish where we qualified given the struggles and setbacks. As to my first ever attempt at a triple-header race weekend in terms of driving performance, I felt like I did fairly well. I qualified very well in the Crown car, I adapted and overcame in the USF2000 car and I quickly learned and adjusted in the Midget.”
“We had a successful few days of driver development at Lucas Oil Raceway with Nathan,” said Louis Michael Meyer (Owner of Legacy Autosport). “Being his first Road to Indy event and only second time in the car, he held his own and raced with cars every lap and brought it home in one piece.
“Mother Nature threw everything at us and luckily we were able to adjust accordingly. Nathan had a lot going on as well running the USAC Silver Crown car and Midget the same day. That raises a whole new aspect of jumping from car to car with different driving styles, braking points and horsepower. Nathan has a full schedule racing all different types of cars. We are working closely with his father, David, to get him back in a Road to Indy car later this year.”
With the month of May by, we are now off to Rounds 9 and 10 of the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires season at the 4.014-mile, 14-turn road course of Road America on June 17TH – 20TH.