Skip Barber trained drivers won every major North American auto race on the schedule this weekend taking checkered flags in CART, Indy Lights, NASCAR Winston Cup, NASCAR Craftsman Truck and Barber Dodge Pro Series competition. Five professional ...
Skip Barber trained drivers won every major North American auto race on the schedule this weekend taking checkered flags in CART, Indy Lights, NASCAR Winston Cup, NASCAR Craftsman Truck and Barber Dodge Pro Series competition. Five professional races; five Skip Barber trained winners. The variables and range of conditions of each race speaks to the depth and versatility of racers that emerge from the Skip Barber program.
In Champ Car competition, Barber trained Helio Castroneves won his second CART race of the season at the Miller Lite 200 held at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The young Brazilian, who had been weakened earlier with a persistent virus, was remarkably sturdy on track and all focus over the 13-turn, 2.25 mile road course. Kenny Brack, 1993 Barber Pro Series Champion, and Skip Barber ace driver and CART points leader Michael Andretti followed with fifth and eighth place results, respectively.
In Indy Lights competition, Barber Dodge Pro Series veteran Townsend Bell enjoyed the first victory of his rookie season. Starting from second on the grid, Bell was extreme from the start, vaulting past the pole-sitter before entering turn-1. From there, fast laps were the rule, as was maintaining composure during several frustrating caution periods. Pro Series grad Tony Renna just missed a podium spot, temporarily holding third before giving back the position in the esses with under seven laps to go. Renna went on to place fourth. Other Skip Barber alumni in the top-10 were Jeff Simmons (6th), Geoff Boss (8th) and Andy Boss (9th).
Rounding out the action at Mid-Ohio was round seven of the 2000 Barber Dodge Pro Series. Points leader Jon Fogarty took his third victory of the season and his second in two years at Mid-Ohio over title rival Nilton Rossoni of Brazil and Sepp Koster of the Netherlands. Fogarty now holds a 26-point lead heading into round eight of the twelve-race series.
In NASCAR action, the result was the same. Skip Barber alumni were winners and prevalent among the Top-10 in Winston Cup and Craftsman Truck competition. Steve Park, starting from the 18th position, celebrated his first career win at the Global Crossing @ The Glen at the Watkins Glen Course. With him and finishing under the top-10 umbrella were four other Skip Barber grads. Jeff Burton earned a third place result. Bobby Labonte, the Winston Cup points leader and last week’s winner at the Brickyard 400, finished in fifth place. Joe Nemechek (8th) and Wally Dallenbach (9th) rounded out the top-10.
In Craftsman Truck Series racing, Skip Barber grad Randy Tolsma claimed first place honors at the Federated Auto Parts 250 held at Nashville Speedway. Tolsma, driving the No. 25 CITGO Supergard Dodge, dominated Saturday’s race, winning after leading the final 102 laps. The win was the third straight victory for Dodge at Nashville, a first for the manufacturer at any venue, and the first time Dodge has won back-to-back in the series ever. Joining Tolsma in top-10 honors was Dennis Setzer, last month’s winner at the Chevy Silverado 200 at Nazareth, in second place and Steve Grissom with a fifth place result. Prior to this weekend, Grissom, Tolsma and Setzer were locked in a train of sixth, seventh and eighth place, respectively, in the 2000 standings.
- Andrew Torres