SBRS: IRL: CHAMPCAR/CART: Barber Grads have good weekend

Skip Barber trained Kenny Brack placed second at the Honda Indy in Queensland, Australia, to remain in contention for the CART FedEx Championship. The result ties his career-high in CART finishing orders. Brack, the 1993 Barber Pro Series...

Skip Barber trained Kenny Brack placed second at the Honda Indy in Queensland, Australia, to remain in contention for the CART FedEx Championship. The result ties his career-high in CART finishing orders. Brack, the 1993 Barber Pro Series champion, is now tied for third place heading into the final race of the series. The championship will be determined at the 500 Presented by Toyota in Fontana, California, scheduled for October 29.

Should Brack secure the title, he would join fellow Skip Barber grad Juan Montoya and Nigel Mansell as the only other rookie title winners. Regardless of the race outcome, Brack has already clinched the CART rookie-of-the-year award. Though he needs a strong result and some misfortune to fall on his rivals, the Swede has excelled in other 500 mile races, namely the 1999 Indianapolis 500, which he won, and this year's Firestone Firehawk 500, in which he scored a top-5 result. Other Skip Barber grads in the Top-10 at the Streets of Surfers Paradise circuit were Helio Castroneves (6th) and Tony Kanaan (8th).

Back in the States, Joe Nemechek and Jeff Gordon led all Skip Barber trained racers at the Winston 500 held at Talladega Superspeedway. Nemechek, who has earned the nickname "Front Row Joe" over the years, started from pole and finished the 188-lap race in third place. Jeff Gordon finished behind him in fourth after an inspired drive. Read understatement. Gordon's drive was spectacular. After trouble in qualifying and having to resort to the back up car, Gordon started from last on the grid. He passed the entire field within 14 laps, remained in the hunt all day and led as late as lap 174. Winston Cup leader Bobby Labonte scored a sub-par result but remains in the points lead. He holds a 210 point advantage with only four races remaining.

In Indy Racing Northern Lights Series action, Skip Barber trained Jeff Ward and Buzz Caulkins scored eighth and ninth place results, respectively, at the Excite 500 at 1.5 mile oval of Texas Motor Speedway.

- Andrew Torres

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Monster Energy NASCAR Cup , Other open wheel
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Joe Nemechek , Helio Castroneves , Tony Kanaan , Kenny Brack , Nigel Mansell , Skip Barber