Braden Eves Takes Maiden Win at Circuit of the Americas
In just the second event in his open-wheel career, Braden Eves of Gahanna, Ohio, claimed his maiden victory in the Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda penultimate event at Circuit of the Americas Saturday….
“It feels great to win my first race in a car,” said Eves who scored a P1, P2 and P3 finish for the weekend. “It is a big confidence boost as we go into the F1 weekend knowing the car is fast enough to win.”
The Jay Howard’s Motorsport Driver Development pilot started Race 3 in the second row behind pole-sitter Dakota Dickerson of San Diego and Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida. As Kirkwood started to close-in on Dickerson on the outside, Eves, who got a great start off the line, slid in between the No. 8 of Kirkwood and Dickerson’s Kiwi Motorsport No. 86 car. The cars went three-wide on the front straight. As racing room reduced, Kirkwood’s car slightly clipped Eves causing a domino effect which bumped Eves into Dickerson. Eves surrendered his advance, suffering minor front-wing damage. Pedersen, who started Race 3 in P4, watched as the front runners battled, waiting to make his move. As Eves backed off Kirkwood and Dickerson, Pedersen took P3, holding Eves off for several laps.
The front-wing damage caused Eves’ car to understeer.
“I needed clean air when I was driving,” Eves said. “I would try to get behind someone to get by as soon as I could because I wanted that air on the front wing, but when I got to second, the draft didn’t benefit me as much, so I knew I had to take first fast.”