(Monterey, Calif.) November 15, 2001 - Twenty drivers head into the homestretch of the 2001 Formula Dodge National Championship Presented by RACER. The upcoming action includes a stop at historic Laguna Seca Raceway this weekend before moving on...
(Monterey, Calif.) November 15, 2001 - Twenty drivers head into the homestretch of the 2001 Formula Dodge National Championship Presented by RACER. The upcoming action includes a stop at historic Laguna Seca Raceway this weekend before moving on to Daytona International Speedway's new road course.
It seems like only yesterday that Californian Landon Yee captured his breakout win from pole at Lime Rock Park, his first of the season. The win leapt Yee up to second overall in the points structure and ended a four race win streak that championship leader Julio Campos enjoyed entering Connecticut. Campos and Yee are motivated but so are the others.
As the series heads to the Monterey rounds, others in the championship hunt include Barber-CART Karting Scholarship winner A.J. Allmendinger, who sits third in the standings with second year racers Canadian Dan Di Leo and Scott Presti rounding out the top-5. While Di Leo has one series win under his belt, Presti looks for his. The Naples, Florida native has registered multiple podiums and shown remarkable consistency. This was most recently demonstrated in round 9 at Lime Rock. Remarkably, Allmendinger is only in his first season racing cars. The former karting champion has been in contention since round 1 and only recently had his record of five consecutive podiums interrupted.
Championship standing positions six through ten for the penultimate rounds are comprised of Tophie Stewart, Leonardo Maia, Juan Manuel Polar, Grant Maiman and Dan Kraus. Stewart and Polar split the opening pair in Sebring but have been absent from the top step since then.
Six different countries are represented among this year's drivers, adding to the multi-national appeal of the series. In addition to the U.S. and Canada, racer profiles hale from Peru, Venezuela, Brazil and Japan. Each entrant has an eye on the prize at stake-- the Barber-CART Scholarship, a fully funded season to contest the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series. While only one winner will emerge, opportunities abound elsewhere. Racers that finish the championship in positions 2-through-8 automatically qualify to participate in a two-day run-off using the Reynard-Dodge 98E racecar, evaluated in both on and off track habits such as track and interview sessions.
The pace picks up as the series winds down. And as conditions change on track, things change in the standings. For this reason alone, the balance of the season is promising and invites close scrutiny.