SBRS: Carolina Motorsport Park preview

Maiman leads charge into Carolina. Last month, it was North-of-the-border action. This weekend, it's southern hospitality as the 2002 Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER heads to Carolina Motorsports Park.

Maiman leads charge into Carolina.

Last month, it was North-of-the-border action. This weekend, it's southern hospitality as the 2002 Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER heads to Carolina Motorsports Park. Grant Maiman, who swept Rounds 9 and 10 at Mont Tremblant, leads a field of twenty-plus racers into South Carolina for Rounds 11 and 12. Carolina Speedway is one of three new tracks on the 13-round schedule, which includes Mont Tremblant, in San Jovite, Quebec and a new track layout at California Speedway.

Maiman, a National Championship sophomore out of New London, Wisonsin, holds a thin 5 point margin over National Championship Runoff winner Scott Poirier. Californian Scott Speed sits third in the championship tally ahead of Burt Frisselle and Barber-CART Karting Scholarship winner Ward Imrie. Colin Fleming, Al Unser, Craig Baltzer, Robbie Montinola and Telmex driver Luis Pelayo make up positions six through ten as the series heads South.

Although he is elated to carry the lead into Carolina, the four-time race winner's approach remains consistent with his earlier rounds.

"I always try to do the best I can at any moment and I'll be satisfied knowing I've done my best yet. Still I do hope to come out on top," said Maiman."I've always understood that racing, or anything for that matter, was about keeping your head clear and addressing only what is important at that moment. I've been playing that game better with each race. I also have to mention that I have more experience now. Though I've been racing only four years, everything I've been learning is finally sinking in."

None of the racers have driven the 2.35-mile circuit, something that led Maiman to start his research before arriving this weekend.

"I was pleased to hear there are plenty of high speed corners. But I'm working on limited information. I plan to arrive early and walk the circuit."

Universally regarded as one of the most competitive and cost-effective championships in existence, the National Championship was designed for the aspiring professional racer. Talent and a proven track record are the credentials one must present for this invitation-only series. The series runs in conjunction with many Skip Barber Race Series weekends and in support of select marquee events.

The premise of the series is to contribute to the health and prosperity of American open-wheel racing with driver development at its core. Grouping talented young racers fosters competition and ultimately raises each driver's game. The young pilots use identically prepared Formula Dodge R/T 2000 racecars, run with wings, slicks and a sequential Gemini five-speed gearbox.

A number of Formula Dodge standouts have left the series and gone on to bigger and better things. 2001 National Champion Julio Campos and Scholarship winner Leonardo Maia are in their first professional season in the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series as are A.J. Allmendinger and Dan DiLeo, last year's second and third place finishers.

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Ward Imrie , Al Unser Sr. , Scott Speed , Julio Campos , Leonardo Maia , A.J. Allmendinger , Burt Frisselle , Scott Poirier , Colin Fleming , Skip Barber , Luis Pelayo , Robbie Montinola