Miami-based Italian American racer Devlin DeFrancesco pulled out two comeback drives at World Wide Technology Raceway – moving him up in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tire points battle.

DeFrancesco’s fourth and fifth-place finishes in the two races in St. Louis have elevated him to equal fourth place the points for Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport.

The 21-year-old, however, departs Missouri with a touch of disappointment after dramas in qualifying put him in fightback mode in the two races this weekend.

With drivers completing two qualifying laps and the two individual laps deciding the grid for each of the two races – lap one for race and lap two for race two – severe understeer on DeFrancesco’s car from changing track conditions hindered his pace and put him seventh on the grid for both races.

The qualifying result was a disappointment for DeFrancesco, who topped the times in testing last week and was fastest on Thursday in preparation for this weekend.

However, the results of fourth and fifth for DeFrancesco could have been even higher – both races were checkered early after concerns with tire wear.

With six races remaining, DeFrancesco is now equal fourth in the points battle with Benjamin Pedersen – both on 245 points.

The World Wide Technology Raceway weekend was the venue for the first race for the new livery on the No.17 machine, plus new suit and helmet designs for DeFrancesco. Seattle, WA-based Jones Soda Co. also debuted on the car for the first time – the soda brand backing DeFrancesco for the remainder of the 2021 season.

Jones Soda joins the team alongside clean-power company Powertap Hydrogen; Kimoa – the fashion, clothing, and accessories brand founded by Fernando Alonso; world-class racing simulator manufacturer AIS; Apple’s largest premium retail partner, Simply Mac; software and services company Fyllo and Sol Yoga.

The final three double-header rounds for the 2021 championship will feature a two-race West-coast swing at Portland (September 9-12) and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (September 17-19), and the season finale return to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on October 1-3.

DEVLIN DEFRANCESCO

“The No. 17 PowerTap machine was good today in Race 2. It was a shame that they had to end it early again, as I totally think we could’ve kept moving up. I think we maximized our result after a poor qualifying.

“The PowerTap Andretti Steinbrenner guys did a great job, and we moved forward in both races, so we definitely have the speed to be up there. It’s just a shame that something that happened in qualifying hampered us but that’s the way it goes sometimes. We will press forward to Portland.”

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