SBRS: NAT: Josef Newgarden VIR preview

Newgarden Looks To Lock Up Skip Barber National Crown DANVILLE, Va., 1 October -- The final two rounds of the BF Goodrich/Skip Barber National Championship take place on October 4 and 5 at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), and Josef...

Newgarden Looks To Lock Up Skip Barber National Crown

DANVILLE, Va., 1 October -- The final two rounds of the BF Goodrich/Skip Barber National Championship take place on October 4 and 5 at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), and Josef Newgarden is looking to secure the title come Sunday afternoon. The 17-year old from Hendersonville, Tennessee currently lies second overall, five points adrift of the lead going into the weekend's double header. The top four drivers are separated by only nine points, and with each driver having to drop his lowest finish, it looks to be a winner-take-all affair.

"I'm feeling good and optimistic about the weekend, but it's going to be a really tough and competitive battle," said Newgarden. "We're looking to win both races and poles and dominate the weekend, but then again, so are the other three drivers still in the fight. So, all I can focus on is myself and do everything I can under my control to win. The rest will take care of itself."

Newgarden has scored two wins and a series-leading six poles entering the final weekend of racing in the 14-round series. When the series visited VIR earlier this year, Newgarden, passing for the lead, was forced off the track when the leader locked up the brakes attempting to defend. He finished that race in seventh. The next day, Newgarden led most of the race, only to finish second by less the one tick of the clock. Newgarden scored a win at VIR in 2007.

The two leaders for the Skip Barber title put down their swords recently at an endurance karting event at New Castle Mortorsports Park in Indiana. Newgarden and current championship leader Conor Daly, were teammates driving separate karts for the Robo-Pong 200 under the "Racers of Tomorrow" moniker with Newgarden leading Daly to the flag in fourth and eighth places, respectively out of the 84 karters starting. The two shared $3750 in prize money from the record setting $25,000 purse that brought out top IndySeries stars like former Indy 500-winner Dan Wheldon and others.

"It was a lot of fun, but still really competitive. Anytime you can get some competitive seat time, it's great, although driving 150 miles in a kart really beats you up," Newgarden reflected. "It was good to work more with Conor and get in sync with each other leading up to our trip to the UK."

The two will re-unite as teammates after the Skip Barber National season wraps up to compete in the Formula Ford Festival at the Silverstone Circuit in the English Mid-lands as part of the Team USA Scholarship.

-credit: jnPR/gt

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Dan Wheldon , Skip Barber , Conor Daly , Josef Newgarden