(LAKEVILLE, Conn.) Feb. 14, 2001 -Four aspiring karters are about to turn it up a notch as they make the transition from karts to racecars in the 2001 Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championships Presented by RACER, the Official National...
(LAKEVILLE, Conn.) Feb. 14, 2001 -Four aspiring karters are about to turn it up a notch as they make the transition from karts to racecars in the 2001 Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championships Presented by RACER, the Official National Amateur Championship of CART. A.J. Allmendinger, 18, of Hollister, Calif.; Tommy Contino; 18, of Hesperia, Calif.; James Gue; 18, of Roswell, Ga.; and Ben Moore III; 16, of Circle Naples, Fla. were all awarded a Barber-CART Karting Scholarship which entitles them to an entry in the 2001 National Series. Each scholarship is valued at $45,000.
Sixteen karters competed in the in the two-day runoff at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla. The caliber of talent was among the highest ever seen in the four-year history of the runoff.
"This is one of those occasions where we wish we could give 16 scholarships," said Skip Barber Chief Instructor Terry Earwood in his parting address to the candidates. "You guys have made our (the judges) jobs very difficult."
Allmendinger, Contino, Gue and Moore displayed keen and consistent driving talent in the car as well as poise out of it in the face of very stern competition. The quartet will now seek to prove themselves worthy of their scholarships in the 13-round 2001 Formula Dodge National Championships which kicks off at Sebring on April 28-29. As in the runoff the opposition in this invitation only series that pits top karters and amateur racers in one series is equally as fierce. In 2000, it was not uncommon for the whole of the field which averaged 18 entries to qualify within one second of one another. The 2001 series winner will be crowned as CART's first ever National Amateur Champion and will secure the Barber-CART National Championship Scholarship that awards a seat in the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series as a part of the $1.3 million Barber-CART Scholarship Ladder.