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D'ORLANDO PODIUMS AT HOME RACE IN NEW JERSEY
October 16, 2020

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The Road to Indy driver development series took to the Thunderbolt circuit at New Jersey Motorsports Park, in Millville, NJ this past weekend making it one of the highest levels of open-wheel racing at the circuit in over a decade. Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship series driver, Michael d'Orlando, hopped on track in his DB Collaborative #4 race car prepared by Cape Motorsports, looking to continue his momentum following two podium appearances, including his first victory, in Mid-Ohio a few weeks ago. It was the first home town race for Michael d'Orlando in three years and the event was filled with anticipation, excitement and hard work.

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The triple-header event began on Saturday morning with a 7th place qualifying position for d'Orlando, whom set his sites on another charge through the field. And in Race 1 that afternoon, the 18-year-old Hartsdale, NY native put on an impressive performance in front of his hometown guests with a nail-biting crowd-catching drag race to the checkered flag to finish third, earning his 6th podium appearance this season. He narrowly missed 2nd place by a mere 0.04 seconds.

Similar momentum carried into Race 2 on Sunday morning, after a 4th place qualifying effort. Throughout the 20-lap race the top four cars continuously widened the gap to the rest of the field, and they all remained steadily in-line as d'Orlando crossed the finish line in fourth with another solid performance for the 2020 season.

Mother Nature played a significant role later that afternoon proving her to be a fickle woman. Uncertain weather conditions prior to the start of the race required teams and drivers to develop strategies for conditions that may, or may not, include rain. In the opening laps on a dry rain-free track, d'Orlando quickly moved up to 4th from his 6th place qualifying position, poised to reel in the top 3. But despite the hopes of many, the skies then slowly dropped an increasing pattern of rain drops, resulting in tricky conditions on track for the 18 drivers all with slick racing tires on their cars. Just a few laps later, the front group of drivers lead the field to test the changing conditions and unfortunately d'Orlando, and two others in the top four, including the leader, were the first to surrender to the declining grip levels. While d'Orlando's efforts to bring the car back on track from the side of the racing circuit were commendable, the result was heart-breaking. When the series directors temporarily halted on-track action for a mandatory tire change, from racing slicks to rain tires, d'Orlando would restart the event at the back of the field. Ultimately, a few laps later, he was then forced to retire from the event after a collision that was caused by another driver spinning in front of him.

"The weekend at New Jersey had some great results and some disappointing results, but as always, the team and I work very hard together to continuously improve and work for more podiums and another win." states d'Orlando. "My qualifying sessions were a little rough but we pulled things together for a solid comeback in race one and then another solid result for race two, considering this track is known to be difficult for passing in a series where all the cars are of similar speeds. I'm not very happy with how the last race turned out but it's valuable experience that every driver needs. I'd really like to thank all of the people who came out to support me this weekend. It was so great to meet you all and see some friends and family. "

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For this home town event, d'Orlando Enterprises was honored to host an elite group of VIP attendees at the Road to Indy's Construction Contractors Club hospitality area. d'Orlando Enterprises would like to extend their appreciation and special thanks to their partners from DB Collaborative, Focused Project Management, MG Engineering, Head of Construction & PM at TD Bank, UFC Gym - Mamaroneck NY, Roush Performance, Montroy Andersen DeMarco, Dino Energy Drink, and MotorMedia USA in addition to many friends and family from the New York region. Thank you to the Road to Indy for their wonderful hospitality. We had a blast!

The Road to Indy wraps up the 2020 season next weekend, October 23-25, where the season made it's attempt to get started before the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us while we take to the streets of St Petersburg, FL, in support of the NTT Data IndyCar series. Event information, live broadcast and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship series information can be found at www.usf2000.com or the Road to Indy TV app.

d'Orlando Enterprises LLC has developed unique and remarkable VIP experiences, behind the scenes access, and other entertainment opportunities for their partners at all of these events including the Indy500. For more information on these experiences, our drivers or alternative partnership opportunities, contact Sherri d'Orlando at info@dorlandoracing.com or 917-952-0243. And as always, you can follow Michael d'Orlando on social media at Instagram (dorlandoracing and michael_dorlando51), Facebook (Michael d'Orlando Racing) and Twitter (dorlandoracing).