CHAMPCAR/CART: Young Californians headline Stars of Tomorrow series opener

Las Vegas Karting Center presents Championship Auto Racing Teams Stars of Tomorrow LAS VEGAS, Nev. (May 13, 2001) -- It was green flag racing all the way for the opening round of the Stars of Tomorrow championship today at the Las Vegas Karting...

Las Vegas Karting Center presents Championship Auto Racing Teams Stars of Tomorrow

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (May 13, 2001) -- It was green flag racing all the way for the opening round of the Stars of Tomorrow championship today at the Las Vegas Karting Center, in Las Vegas, Nev., with young Californians Scott Speed and Chris Carmody taking top positions on the podium in the MOMO Grand Prix.

Speed claimed the pole for the 30-lap Pro 125 Shifter class in convincing fashion, and the 18-year-old from Manteca followed through on race day. When the green flag fell, the JM Racing/Swedetech driver never looked back, leading flag-to-flag in a dominant run that closed the door on the competition. Canyon County, Calif., driver Darren Elliott moved up a spot from his third-place qualifying effort to finish second, and local favorite Matt Jaskol, 17, of Paul Tracy Karting, claimed third.

In the Rotax-Max 125 (non-shifter) class, 17-year-old Chris Carmody battled from a fourth-place starting position to clinch top honors. The Valencia native, who is out of the Pitts/SSC Racing stable, mounted an impressive charge to overtake polesitter and fellow Pitts/SSC driver Colin Fleming, who finished third, and Matt Jaskol, who finished second. Buddy Rice, the 2000 CART Toyota Atlantic champion, finished fifth.

"The event was a complete success," said Hollis Brown, co-founder of the Stars of Tomorrow Championship alongside Champ Car veteran driver Bryan Herta. "All of the races went green to the checkered flag with no yellows and very few disabled karts. This shows the high caliber of the drivers and teams that were here."

Herta, who was traveling to Japan today for the CART FedEx Championship Series race at Twin Ring Motegi next weekend -- the Firestone Firehawk 500 -- was happy with the post-race report: "I'm pleased to hear the event went well. When I was there on Friday and Saturday, it looked like we would be in for some great racing. I congratulate Scott and Chris on their performances."

The Stars of Tomorrow Championship awards points based on the CART scoring system, including a point for the pole position and for leading the most laps. The next round of the four-race series will be held July 6 -- 8 at the US Shifter Nationals in Norman, Okla., at the Oklahoma Motorsports Complex.

In addition to $40,000 in cash prizes, the first and second-place drivers in the Pro 125 Shifter and Rotax-Max classes at the conclusion of the championship will receive a Skip Barber Three Day Racing School and a test in the Team Rahal Champ Car. The winner of the Pro 125 Shifter class also will receive a full season of competition in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship Series presented by Racer in 2002 -- the Official National Amateur Championship of CART.

Founded to identify and showcase the future stars of CART, the Stars of Tomorrow Championship helps to bridge the gap between karting and CART through the support of CART, Skip Barber, Inc., MOMO, Team Rahal, Firestone, Honda, Bosch and SSC Racing.

-LVKC-

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Kart
Drivers Paul Tracy , Buddy Rice , Colin Fleming , Skip Barber , Matt Jaskol