Jan. 27, 2000 -Former Barber Dodge Pro Series driver Chris Menninga has signed for another year in the Dayton Indy Lights Series with Conquest Racing. This will be Menninga's second year with Conquest Racing where he hopes to build upon last year's rookie foundations.
"I am pretty pumped about this season," Menninga said. "It's nice to go back to a place where everybody knows you, and you know how everyone works."
Eight Top-10 finishes marked Menninga's debut Indy Lights season, which was highlighted by two sixth-place finishes at Nazareth and Laguna Seca. Menninga finished the year 13th on the final points tally, but hopes that with a year of experience behind him, top-10 results will become top-five results in 2000.
"I hope to do better than last year," he said. "My confidence is higher, and I feel more comfortable in the car. I think that I can contend for some wins this year, but everybody will have to work a lot harder. Dorricott really raised the ante last year."
With Menninga's announcement, it raises the total of former Barber Dodge Pro Series drivers in the Dayton Indy Lights Series to six. Menninga joins Townsend Bell, Geoff and Andy Boss, Tony Renna, and two-time Barber Dodge Pro Series champ Jeff Simmons on the Lights grid for 2000. The Barber Pro Series has a long tradition of sending drivers to the Indy Lights ranks with over 25 former Pro Series drivers having started a Lights race, including 1989 Barber Pro Series champion Robbie Buhl who in-turn won the Lights crown in '92. That feat was duplicated a year later by 1991 Barber Pro Series champion Bryan Herta who won the Lights title in '93.
Menninga wrapped up his Barber Dodge Pro Series career 16th on the all-time points list with 266 points garnered in 35 starts which included one victory and one pole position. In 1994, Menninga was the Skip Barber Midwestern Race Series Rookie of the Year.
Younger brother Jamie will be running in the 2000 Barber Dodge Pro Series.