Myers takes home the series “Spirit” award at the year-end awards celebration
LEXINGTON, Ohio – Michael Myers Racing completed its rookie Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship season last weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, closing the books on a year that saw the family-run team earn respect from the entire paddock.
Driver Michael Myers displayed immense grit and determination this season – so much so that at the year-end awards ceremony Sunday evening he has presented the Hi-Tide Boat Lifts Spirit Award, given each year to a driver who “embodies the heart of a champion as they strive to achieve their goals.”
“To be honest, I was in shock,” said Myers, describing the moment when series announcer and the evening’s emcee, Rob Howden, called his name. “I went into the evening just to have fun and make connections. Rob called my name and it took me a minute to process! That was really cool, it was a great way to cap off the season. I really appreciated receiving this award. It gave a much-needed spark to the entire team.”
Despite having only one USF2000 race weekend in the past month, Myers came to Mid-Ohio in race-ready shape, having competed in a World Racing League event at VIRginia International Raceway last month in a Porsche GP3 (he will compete at the final two WRL events later this month, at a pair of eight-hour endurance events Hallett Raceway and a 24-hour event at Sebring International Raceway).
Happy to be back in his No. 42 Metalloid/Myers Garage Tatuus USF-17, Myers knew he would have to get up to speed quickly, with only one 30-minute practice session Saturday morning ahead of qualifying and the first of two races.
“I still had the race mentality from VIR, but the car was obviously completely different,” said Myers. “I just had to get comfortable again in the car, but I just didn’t get there before qualifying. It’s tough with our limited information. We’re going just off what we learned in the previous Mid-Ohio weekend or what we can put together since I don’t have another driver to share data with. We started toward the back in the race, but I made a few passes before falling back.”
Myers finished 19th in race one, so the focus immediately went to Sunday morning’s race two qualifying sessions and the season finale. The forecasted rain arrived right on schedule Sunday morning as the series headed out at 8:00 a.m. and with multiple cars off the track and multiple red flags eating up the allotted time, the series reverted to the second quickest lap in Saturday’s qualifying session, placing Myers once again at the back of the field for the wet start.
“I don’t have a lot of rain experience and I know how slick Mid-Ohio is in the rain, but one of our mechanics works at the Mid-Ohio School so we had some inside information. I knew it would be a messy race and that there would be multiple cars going off, I’m just sorry that I was one of them! I passed a few cars on the start but I ended up in the sand which bent a pushrod and that was the weekend.”
Despite the way the season finished, Myers is proud of the immense amount of knowledge that he took away from his first USF2000 season – both on and off the track – and hopes to continue on the Road to Indy.
“We had some good highlights this season – passing 12 cars at the July Mid-Ohio race and finishing a season-high 11th in my home race at IMS. It’s been a difficult year because this field is so incredibly competitive. I learned a ton; it’s been the most valuable year of my life. Working with an engineer, racing in the rain, it’s been a massive, virtually vertical learning curve – especially having a privateer team, without a database of knowledge. Considering all that, we’ve done well. I know I can compete.
“Away from the track, my business skills have gone through the roof,” Myers continued. “My web development company is thriving, so hopefully that helps me get into the car next year! I’m excited to see how we can improve on what we’ve learned and expanded on that, both on the team and in my business. I don’t know exactly what our plans are for 2022, but coming back to the Road to Indy is my target.”