Skip Barber trained Dan Wheldon won the ninth round of the 2001 CART Dayton Indy Lights Championship, held at the Gateway International Circuit, St Louis, Missouri. The 23-year old rookie averaged a race record speed of 140.080 mph. This victory increases Wheldon's chances of moving up into the CART FedEx Champ Car World Series next season.
Wheldon was already running in a strong second position when former Pro Series racer Townsend Bell, the current Championship points leader, retired on lap 70 with a failed fuel pump electrical connection, leaving Wheldon to pick up the win ahead of his PacWest Racing teammate. The result is the first 'one-two' finish in the history of the PacWest Lights team.
"We have had some bad luck ourselves this season, but the PacWest team really pushed us hard. I am very happy to win," said a jubilant Wheldon. "It helps my aspirations for next year and we'd like to get a couple more wins before the season's out."
In the Indy Racing Northern Light Series, half of the Top-10 from this weekend's Gateway Indy 250 were Skip Barber trained racers. Sam Hornish Jr. bettered his chances for the championship with a third place result. The points extend his series lead to 45 with two races to go. Also joining Hornish in the Skip Barber trained top-10 are Robbie Buhl (5th), Jeff Ward (7th), Scott Sharp (8th) and Robby McGehee (10th).
Winston Cup was dormant this weekend, but that didn't stop three of its drivers from top-10 finishes in Busch Grand National Series competition. Skip Barber trained Jeff Gordon, who looks headed towards a fourth Winston Cup Championship, earned third place honors in the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Steve Park and last year's champion, Bobby Labonte, joined Gordon in the top-10 with their seventh and eighth place results^Å. In Craftsman Truck Series, Skip Barber trained Jack Sprague took third place in the Chevy Silverado 200, held at Nazareth Speedway.
From England's Donington Park circuit, 2000 Barber Dodge Pro Series racer Thed Bjork and his teammate extended their lead in the SR2 championship by finishing second in the sixth round of the FIA Sports Car Championship. The team had to run the entire race without changing the left-rear wheel, which had jammed on the hub. It took some skillful driving by the former Pro Series racer in the later stages to keep the Lola off the wall. Bjork's former Pro Series competitor Sam Hancock and his co-driver finished fourth overall in SR class.
- SBRS/Andrew Torres