Casey Neal Makes Skip Barber Debut Middletown, Ohio (March 21) -- Casey Neal, started his first professional car race this past weekend at the 12 Hours of Sebring, in Sebring, Fl.. Casey was racing in the Skip Barber National Championship series...
Casey Neal Makes Skip Barber Debut
Middletown, Ohio (March 21) -- Casey Neal, started his first professional car race this past weekend at the 12 Hours of Sebring, in Sebring, Fl.. Casey was racing in the Skip Barber National Championship series race with American Le Mans Series (ALMS).
Neal, at 16 comes out of the Snap-On Stars of Karting and World Karting Associations` Manufactures Cup ranks and has all of two R/T 2000 races under his belt; a Saturday/Sunday Regional Race at Laguna Seca, in December.
He'd not seen Sebring's historic 3.7 miles until this past Tuesday. Showing remarkable skill for someone with so little experience and in a Spring thunder storm, the Skip Barber National rookies` best lap had him second on the grid for his season-opening Round One
Key moment: Gerardo Bonilla (#54) beat Casey Neal (#94) into Turn One on the re-start. Moments later, Neal overcooked Turn 10 trying to pass Bonilla for the lead and the win allowing Matt Varsha into P2. Neal finished P3
Casey ran a solid race finishing third (P3), though it was shortened due to a four car wreck on the front straight, the racing was very tight in the rain. Casey ran most of the race in second, but a miscue on the last lap while challenging eventual race winner Gerardo Bonilla for the race lead allowed a fellow driver to get by for P2. The event began in the rain and ended in the rain for race one. Casey said after the race "Not bad for my first car race and I had the best time I've ever had racing. Racing cars is just too cool and in the rain, this is fun".
Race two stared out with Transmission trouble in qualifying and Casey only qualified thirteenth (P13). For the start of race two, with the transmission now repaired, Casey went to the inside of the long straight and passed six cars, coming out of turn one in sixth place. Six turns later Casey had passed four more drivers for third place but coming out of turn eight Casey's car lost power with a computer problem and his day was for all purposes --- over.
"WOW this better than I thought it would be, and these guys: Gerardo and Matt, they raced me hard but clean, they are a lot fun to race with. I have a ton of stuff to learn about going from karts to cars, but I cant wait till the next race" Neal said after a weekend of bad weather, some tough luck and fierce competition.
Casey will be racing the next Skip Barber National Championship race at VIR in April 22-24