CHAMPCAR/CART: Long Beach Four of Top Ten Skip Barber Trained

Former Barber Pro Series champion Bryan Herta is back in the saddle of CART FedEx Champ Car as he substitutes for the injured Shinji Nakano at Walker Racing for the Toyora Grand Prix of Long Beach. Herta, who is still under contract to Forsythe...

Former Barber Pro Series champion Bryan Herta is back in the saddle of CART FedEx Champ Car as he substitutes for the injured Shinji Nakano at Walker Racing for the Toyora Grand Prix of Long Beach. Herta, who is still under contract to Forsythe Racing found himself without a ride thus far in the 2000 Champ Car season due to a CART by-law which prohibits any one team owner from fielding three teams. Until that situation is rectified, Herta is making the most of his substitute role by provisionally qualifying ninth on the first day of trials for one of the most important races min the CART season.

Just ahead of Herta are Helio Castro-Neves and Juan Montoya in seventh and eighth with Tony Kanaan in tenth. Three other Skip Barber trained drivers in the field had a rougher day, but Michael Andretti (14th) Memo Gidley (19th) and Kenny Brack (21st) still have tomorrow’s final qualifying session in which to improve their positions.

The CART Dayton Indy Lights Series is hosting its opening round on the famed street circuit by the beach. Former Pro Series racer Tony Renna currently lies third on the time sheets. He is joined in the Top-10 by other former Pro Series standouts in the forms of Todd Snyder (8th), Andy Boss (9th) and Townsend Bell (10th). Snyder and Bell, who finished second and third respectively in last year’s Barber Dodge Pro Series, are making their Indy Lights debuts this weekend. 1998-99 Barber Dodge Pro Series champ Jeff Simmons is 13th in his Lights debut for Team Kool Green, one slot behind Pro Series and Skip Barber Race Series veteran Chris Menninga (12th). The other half of the Boss Brothers duo, Geoff, is currently 15th on the provisional grid.

Like the Skip Barber trained stars in Champ Car, the Lights drivers have another session on Saturday in which to improve their times.

-George Tamayo

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Michael Andretti , Memo Gidley , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Shinji Nakano , Kenny Brack , Chris Menninga , Townsend Bell , Skip Barber , Tony Renna , Jeff Simmons , Todd Snyder