The new series points leader celebrates with Yee and Speed. Grant Maiman's second win at the Mont Tremblant circuit in St. Jovite, Quebec, elevated him to the top of the charts in the 2002 Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship...
The new series points leader celebrates with Yee and Speed.
Grant Maiman's second win at the Mont Tremblant circuit in St. Jovite, Quebec, elevated him to the top of the charts in the 2002 Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER. By capturing Round 10 with an inspired drive from sixth, Maiman eclipses National Championship Runoff winner Scott Poirier, who himself swept the earlier IRP rounds to earn the series points lead. Landon Yee and Scott Speed followed in second and third. Barber-CART Karting Scholarship winner Ward Imrie and Poirier rounded out the top-5 in fourth and fifth. Although Poirier didn't podium, his two top-5 finishes keep him within 5 points of Maiman.
Yee set the table for an outstanding race. The Californian, who set a blistering pace to earn pole in the previous day's qualifying session, led the first 12 laps and seemed on track to claim his second National Championship win. But Maiman was not to be denied. After measuring his options, the Wisconsin native saw an opportunity to best Yee in turn-10, squeezing by efficiently to put clear track between his #42 car and the imminent checkered flag. Maiman then led the 20-car field over the final 2 circuits to put an exclamation point on a weekend that saw him pocket 41 out of a possible 42 championship points.
Among the many competitors who excelled at the majestic Canadian circuit was Imrie, who started 10th but picked up six positions to collect valuable points. Al Unser also improved six spots to land in sixth. And two Barber-CART Karting Scholarship winners deserve mention for their outstanding drives; 13th place starter Craig Baltzer promoted himself over the 14 lap race to finish in eighth and Colin Fleming rebounded from a crash in qualifying that seeded him 20th to land in the top-10. Fleming garners six championship points and earns most progressive driver distinction.
Maiman now has four victories this season and a total of five career wins. With three rounds remaining, he appears to be peaking at the right time. The opportunistic driver, who perhaps uses the draft better than anyone in the R/T 2000, executed two perfect passes to claim the win.
"I was in third, and got a good shot out of turn-8 to pass Speed. He was running behind [race leader] Landon and I caught one draft to another, which allowed me to get by. Soon after, coming into turn-10, Landon went to the inside and I was able to take full advantage of the draft. I went around the outside in turn-10 and made it work. From there, I just had to stay focused and put my head down."
Yee was understandably subdued after the race. Although his return was largely successful, his second place left a bittersweet taste in his mouth.
"Obviously, I wanted the win but second was the best we could do today. You just have to take the good with the bad."