CHAMPCAR/CART: Barber Alumni in Final Qualifying at Long Beach

Two former Pro Series drivers led the charge in Long Beach, and though they fell short of pole, they are still in the thick of the hunt. What's more, they lead a contingent of Skip Barber trained drivers that will battle it out on the famed...

Two former Pro Series drivers led the charge in Long Beach, and though they fell short of pole, they are still in the thick of the hunt. What's more, they lead a contingent of Skip Barber trained drivers that will battle it out on the famed street circuit for one of the most coveted victories in CART circles.

Juan Montoya came up just half of a second short in his quest to grab a second consecutive pole in this early part of the CART FedEx season. He will start tomorrow's race form the third slot on the grid. Bryan Herta continues to impress as a stand in driver at Walker Racing. The 1991 Pro Series champ will start fifth. Just behind him on the next row is '93 Pro Series champ Kenny Brack in the seventh starting position. The fifth row is an all Skip Barber trained affair with Helio Castro-Neves in ninth and alongside in tenth is Memo Gidley. Like Herta, Gidley finds himself a substitute driver for the next couple of rounds at least at Player's Forsythe Racing.

Making his Indy Lights debut is two-time Barber Dodge Pro Series champion Jeff Simmons. After struggling somewhat in his first day of practice, Simmons in customary style turned it on when it counted and will start his first race at "the Beach" in fifth. Also making his Lights debut is Simmon's arch rival from their Pro Series days, two-time runner-up Todd Snyder. He will start eighth, and alongside will be another Barber Dodge alumus in Andy Boss (9th), with yet another of last year's Barber Dodge standouts Townsend Bell in tenth. Further back in 16th and 17th respectively will be two other Barber Dodge veterans in Geoff Boss and Chris Menninga.

-George Tamayo

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Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Memo Gidley , Bryan Herta , Kenny Brack , Chris Menninga , Townsend Bell , Skip Barber , Jeff Simmons , Geoff Boss