Cadillac Racing had a tough outing to Utah Motorsports Campus this weekend, with both Johnny O’Connell and Michael Cooper walking away from the double header event empty handed.
In Race 1, Cooper started from the front row on the grid after qualifying second, while O’Connell started near the back of the grid in 14th. The yellow immediately came out when the race went green after cars made contact at turn 1. Cooper was third for the restart but hit McLaren’s Alvaro Parente in Turn 1, sending him off track as Cooper continued.
Cooper finished 14th after the shunt with Parente. O’Connell, meanwhile, battled a loose car all race and spun in Turn 1 before finishing 15th.
“On the start it was ok,” Cooper said. “We are down on power to a lot of these cars. The third place car drove around me and I was trying to hold the rest of the field through the first three corners. On the restart I was defending pretty hard and I didn’t realize how slippery it was at the entry of Turn 1 and I clobbered Parente. I feel bad for taking him out. I feel worse that I let the team down.”
Cooper started fifth for race two according to his fast lap Saturday, while O’Connell started 13th. The field got off to a clean start and ran caution free for its entire50-minute duration. O’Connell moved up three positions to finish tenth, while Cooper turned up sixth.
“We moved forward,” O’Connell said. “You start 13th and finish 10th that is a pretty good day. It is frustrating we are used to running a lot further up the field. With the way the cars are regulated right now you just can’t make up 5 mph down the straight. With that said, I had a much better Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe today. We put Michael’s set-up on my car and it was much more responsive and easier to drive. We work as a team. The Cadillac Racing guys put in a lot of work to get us dialed in and I appreciate their effort.”