Barron not driving in Toronto but will drive for Marlboro Mercedes Penske at Michigan. by Bob Judd Correction. Penske told us, so we told you that Alex Barron will be driving for Penske in Toronto this weekend. Wrong. However, Alex Barron,...
Barron not driving in Toronto but will drive for Marlboro Mercedes Penske at Michigan. by Bob Judd
Correction. Penske told us, so we told you that Alex Barron will be driving for Penske in Toronto this weekend. Wrong.
However, Alex Barron, the talented California driver who struggled to develop Dan Gurney's Eagle, will drive the red and white Marlboro Mercedes Penske #3 next weekend at Michigan.
Barron has been running tests at the Michigan Speedway and at the California Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Roger Penske said, "Alex performed well at both tests and the Penske chassis was very consistent, so we'll run two Penske cars at Michigan."
The translation of Roger's statement is that Little Al and Alex have been testing the new Penske against the Lola, and they found the Penske is quicker on the super speedways. So Little Al is driving a Lola this weekend. And both Little Al and Alex will be racing Penskes at Michigan. Derrick Walker has called Barron the "most underrated driver in CART, apart from Gil de Ferran. Developing a car and racing it at the same time is an almost impossible job." Alex has plenty of experience doing both at Dan Gurney's All-American racers.
Alex won the Toyota Atlantic Championship in `97, winning five races. He began his CART career in 1998 with Dan Gurney's team. His best finish was ninth at the Bosch Spark Plug GP at Nazareth this year. Dan Gurney replaced Alex with Gualter Salles in mid-season, saying that they "wanted a second opinion." Salles hasn't made the Eagle noticeably more competitive than Alex did, so presumably he's telling Dan the same thing that Alex was.
In the meantime, Alex has his work cut out for him at Penske. The chassis hasn't had nearly the development time as the Reynards, Swifts or even the Lolas. Never mind, it will be great to see Alex and two Penskes back on the track.