SBRS: CHAMPCAR/CART: Barber-CART Karting Scholarship nominees announced

Skip Barber today announces the 16 nominees for the 2002 Barber-CART Karting Scholarship Runoff, which is set to take place on January 3-4, 2001 at Sebring International Raceway. Four Scholarship recipients will be chosen at the conclusion of the...

Skip Barber today announces the 16 nominees for the 2002 Barber-CART Karting Scholarship Runoff, which is set to take place on January 3-4, 2001 at Sebring International Raceway. Four Scholarship recipients will be chosen at the conclusion of the runoff, earning a full season in the 2002 Formula Dodge National Championship Presented by RACER, the Official National Amateur Championship of CART. Each Scholarship has a value of $45,000.

They are:

Michael Abbate, 16, Las Vegas, Nevada
Craig Baltzer, 17, Bettendorf,Iowa
Jason Bowles, 18, Ontario, California
Chris Carmody, 17, Valencia, Calif.
Travis Firing, 17, Whitehall, Penn.
Colin Fleming, 17, North Hills, Calif.
Matt Jaskol, 17, Las Vegas, Nevada
Ward Imrie, 18, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Charlie Kimball, 16, Camarillo, California
David MacDonald, 17, North Canton, Ohio
Berek McEwen, 17, Flower Mound, Texas
Benny Moon, 16, Shingle Springs, Calif.
Preston Peebles, 16, Lubbock, Texas
Tim O'Brien, 19, Lebanon, Ohio
Scott Speed, 18, Manteca, Calif.
Steve Welk, 19, Franklin, Wisc.

The nominees were selected, after submitting applications, based on their karting performances in 2001 and interviews with a Skip Barber panel.

"Every year these selections get more difficult to make, and this year's was certainly no exception," said Rick Ratajczak, Barber Dodge Pro Series and Karting Scholarship Director. "We certainly don't expect the final decision on the four Scholarships to be easy as a result. Whatever the case, the talent pool on the early rungs of the Barber-CART Ladder is very deep indeed."

The 16 nominees will compete for the coveted Scholarships, over two days of on-track activity and personal interviews with the panel of judges. All of the on-track activity takes place in a Formula Dodge R/T 2000, the same winged and slick shod racecar in which National Championship racers compete. Each of the 16 nominees has received a Skip Barber Three Day Racing School in order to prepare for the runoff. For many, it will be their first taste of racecar. The cumulative value of the Three Day Racing Schools and Runoff is over $105,000.

Past winners of the Barber-CART Karting Scholarship are newly signed Lynx Racing driver Michael Valiante, 2000 Barber Dodge Pro Series Rookie of the Year Ryan Hunter-Reay, 2000 British Formula Ford runner-up Patrick Long and current Formula Dodge National Championship runner-up A.J. Allmendinger.

The Barber-CART Karting Scholarship is the first rung on the $1.3 million Barber-CART Scholarship Ladder that culminates with the $255,000 Career Enhancement Award that goes to the Barber Dodge Pro Series Champion used to advance to the CART Toyota Atlantic Series.

-Barber-

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Series IndyCar , Kart , Other open wheel
Drivers Travis Firing , Ward Imrie , Michael Valiante , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Scott Speed , A.J. Allmendinger , Patrick Long , Colin Fleming , Charlie Kimball , Skip Barber , Steve Welk , Preston Peebles , Jason Bowles , Matt Jaskol