Valiante ascends up the CART ladder 1999 Barber Dodge Pro Series Co-Rookie of the Year Michael Valiante only had a limited amount of time to show what he could do in the 2001 Toyota Atlantic Championship. The Canadian karting ace made the most...
Valiante ascends up the CART ladder
1999 Barber Dodge Pro Series Co-Rookie of the Year Michael Valiante only had a limited amount of time to show what he could do in the 2001 Toyota Atlantic Championship. The Canadian karting ace made the most of his opportunity, snaring second-place finishes in Montreal and Vancouver and finishing ninth in the series standings despite running just five of the 12 races. Valiante was rewarded for his efforts Friday, as he was named get a full-season ride in the Lynx Racing No. 19 Swift for the 2002 season.
"Lynx is a legend among young drivers looking for a way to graduate up into CART, and I'm thrilled to be chosen for the team," says Valiante. "The five races I drove with the team this season were a real education in how a top team operates and what it takes to compete at this level. My goal this year was to satisfy both myself and the team that I can learn and run fast at the same time, and I feel I've achieved that. As for next year, the team is ready and able to win another championship, and I'm going to do my best to give them what they want.”
Valiante hopes to climb the CART ladder as Lynx graduates Patrick Carpentier, Memo Gidley and Alex Barron had done before him.
"Michael is an absolute natural to be a CART star in the future, and we're delighted to help him get there," says Lynx co-owner Peggy Haas. "We've had our eye on him for a couple of years, and the job he did with us this year simply confirmed our assessment that we're the right team for him and he's the right driver for us. We're very much looking forward to the coming season."
A weekend of limited race action was highlighted by Skip Barber trained talent. Jeff Burton landed on the podium in the EA Sports 500 from Talledega with his third place result. Three time Winston Cup Champion and current series points leader Jeff Gordon and Joe Nemechek finished seventh and eighth respectively to round out the Skip Barber trained top-10.