After spending the past two years battling for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, Robert Megennis will move up to Pro Mazda Presented by Cooper Tire in 2018 with Juncos Racing.
Recently, Popular Open Wheel caught up with the 17-year-old to discuss his thoughts entering the year.
POPULAR OPEN WHEEL: What are your thoughts entering the year?
ROBERT MEGENNIS: I’m super excited to get the year started. I’m with the best team, the car is awesome to drive, and the field looks like it’s going to be super close. It’s going to be tough, but I just can’t wait for St. Pete.
POW: You got to take part in the Chris Griffis test behind the wheel of a Pro Mazda. What was your biggest takeaway from that experience?
RM: Chris Griffis was great. It was more track time in the PM-18, and it helped me really get comfortable not only driving the new car but with my new team, Juncos Racing. We really gelled well and it’s given me a lot of confidence going into the season.
POW: What are your goals and expectations?
RM: It’s my rookie season in Pro Mazda, so no expectations. My goal for the year is to finish every lap of every race. I set P1 lap times at Chris Griffis. We showed we have the speed. If I just keep the car rolling, results will come.
POW: What track are you most looking forward to?
RM: This question is like trying to pick your favorite kid! No fair! I’d have to say I’m looking forward to St. Pete. I’m always fast at that track, and it’s always super fun to drive. Plus when St. Pete rolls around that means the season has started!
POW: Looking back on 2017, what are your thoughts?
RM: 2017 was honestly a hard year. I finished lower in the championship than I expected. However, you take more out of the times where you struggle than the times where all is going well, and I think I learned a ton about racing and myself last year. It’s made me a much better driver, and I’m excited to take what I learned to Pro Mazda.
POW: What did it mean to you to break through and get that win at St. Petersburg?
RM: St. Pete was the best weekend of my life! It was just so satisfying to have such a good race. All the hard work paid off the second I got that checkered flag. What a day!
POW: What’s the biggest thing you learned in USF2000 that you feel will help you in Pro Mazda?
RM: It’s so hard to pick just one thing. USF2000 is such a good entry level series on the Road to Indy. The bar of racing is so high in USF2000. It teaches drivers race craft, gives them Indycar circuit experience, good car education, everything. If I had to pick one point, racing in USF2000 helped me improve my race craft and helped me find the line between being too aggressive and too tame on the track. I learned so much in USF2000.
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