To Determine Final Championship 'Players' Mid-Ohio (Round 8) & Road America (Round 9) Crucial
LEXINGTON, Ohio and ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (August 9) - With seven of 12 races in the books, there are still eight drivers-five Americans and three from overseas-in realistic contention to win the 1996 Barber Dodge Pro Series championship. But in the crucial two-races-in-two-weeks Midwest swing, the events at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Road America could dramatically reduce the number of contenders. Rest assured that Tony Renna, Geoff Boss and Jeff Bucknum-sixth, seventh and eighth in points, respectively-are aware that podium finishes are vital to keeping realistic title hopes alive. Of course, should Sweden's Fredrik Larsson, the points leader, encounter trouble at Mid-Ohio and Road America, the door will stay wide open. But Larsson is on a roll: managed by countryman Stefan Johansson, driver of the Alumax Aluminum Reynard-Mercedes IndyCar, Larsson has earned four consecutive pole positions and won four of the past five races. He has a 26- point leader over Italian Rino Mastronardi, 30 over Tim Moser of California and 32 over Derek Hill and Thomas Schie. Of the current top 10 drivers in points, five competed at Mid-Ohio and Road America last year: Bucknum dominated the Mid-Ohio event, while Larsson, Moser, Boss and Schie each had top-three results at one or both venues. Final qualifying for Mid-Ohio is 11:00 a.m. Eastern on Saturday, Aug. 10, with the race scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Sunday, immediately following the Miller 200. At Road America, final qualifying is 5:45 Central on Saturday the 17th, with the race scheduled for 11:15 a.m. Sunday prior to the Texaco/Havoline 200. All Barber Dodge races are televised by espn/2: the first Mid-Ohio telecast is Sunday, Aug. 18 at 5:30 p.m. Eastern, and the Road America show is Sunday, Sept. 1 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.
Contact: Rick Roso, Press Room & Barber Dodge Paddock