Barber Dodge Pro Series alum Scott Mayer is looking to make the step up to the Indy Racing League in 2002. Mayer contested most of the 2000 season in the Barber Dodge Pro Series and gave notice by taking the Conseco Step Up Award at Road America...
Barber Dodge Pro Series alum Scott Mayer is looking to make the step up to the Indy Racing League in 2002. Mayer contested most of the 2000 season in the Barber Dodge Pro Series and gave notice by taking the Conseco Step Up Award at Road America after he was able to move up eight positions by the time the checkered flag fell. The advancement through the field may well be a metaphor for a career on the rise.
If everything comes together as planned, Mayer will be making his IRL competition debut at Homestead on March 24 driving the PDM Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone combination. Like many other drivers this time of year, he still has to finalize sponsorship to make the season-long program happen, but he is confident a partnership will develop in time for the season opener.
An unseasonable snowfall in April 2000 caused Mayer's withdrawal from the Barber Dodge Pro Series race at Nazareth Speedway. Although he didn’t contest the eventually rescheduled race, Mayer still believes his time in the Pro Series was excellent preparation for his open-wheel intentions.
“ Skip Barber really helped me get to this point, and hopefully I can get the chance to show what I’ve learned from them.”
Making the jump from the 265-horsepower Reynard Dodge 98E to the 750-plus horsepower of an Indy Racing League Dallara is indeed a quantum leap from a performance perspective, but with more than a thousand miles of testing under his belt, Mayer is no longer concerned about it.
“ The Barber Dodge car was really good preparation for me. The car is so true in its handling that it gave me a really good foundation to build on when I moved up to the Dallara. I have been testing for a whole year to get to this point, gradually bringing my speed up at every turn. Initially, in my first test, I was really surprised at the speed and especially the downforce I was experiencing, but I have been working my way up slowly, and PDM Racing has been a huge factor. They do such a great job of preparing the car and they have so much experience with rookies that it’s been a great help.”
After his first run in the PDM Dallara at Phoenix in February of 2001, Mayer built up the speed and confidence to pass the IRL rookie test at the Chicago Motor Speedway in August. Mayer followed up passing the test with a series of tests at a variety of Indy Racing League venues with an eye on running the 2002 season. A recent test at Homestead to prepare for the season opening race convinced Scott not only that he was ready, but also that they could prove to be a competitive element in the IRL.
“ Homestead was really good in terms of getting used to running with other cars around and it was also encouraging that our times were so competitive, even when compared to the big-budget teams that were down there. So I am really looking forward to racing at Homestead in March.”