SBRS: Championship shaping up at Road America

(LAKEVILLE, Conn.) Aug. 15, 2000 -Who may be the next to follow in the footsteps of Bryan Herta, Kenny Brack or Jeff Simmons? Those three Barber Dodge Pro Series champions have gone on to experience success at the Champ Car and Indy Lights level.

(LAKEVILLE, Conn.) Aug. 15, 2000 -Who may be the next to follow in the footsteps of Bryan Herta, Kenny Brack or Jeff Simmons? Those three Barber Dodge Pro Series champions have gone on to experience success at the Champ Car and Indy Lights level. As round seven of the 12-round championship approaches, the title chase for 2000 and the $300,000 Career Enhancement Award has become a three-driver race.

Following his third win of the season and fourth of his career, American Jon Fogarty has begun to edge away from his nearest rivals, Nilton Rossoni of Brazil and Dutchman Sepp Koster. Fogarty now enjoys a 26-point advantage over Rossoni and a further three points on Koster. Round eight at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. on Aug 18-20 presents the next opportunity for the title hopefuls to make or break their title bid.

Rossoni currently holds the Barber Dodge track record for both pole and fastest race lap. He finished last year's race in sixth, but not before dueling with eventual race winner Jeff Simmons for the lead. Koster secured a solid top-10 result at Road America in '99 while Fogarty overcame a rough patch in qualifying to come from 15th on the grid to a fourth-place finish, passing the most cars in the race. It all goes to show that each will be formidable in the quest to be the best of the Barber Dodge Pro Series field.

While the Fogarty, Rossoni and Koster have emerged as the likely title protagonists, those behind can not yet be discounted. Fourth overall, Matt Plumb has been in the hunt all season long, and if not for an unfortunate accident in the opening laps of round 4, he might well have made the aforementioned trio a foursome. Rookies Ryan Hunter-Reay and Andy Lally are in search of their first win and have been knocking at the door all season long. Roger Yasukawa has been quiet and consistent all year and could stealthfully steal a win, while Jamie Menninga need only convert his qualifying speed into race winning form. Ninth-placed Michael Valiante had a stellar drive last year at Road America as he battled fiercely with Simmons for the win finishing a scant 0.268 sec. away from his first win. He will be looking to avenge that defeat as will Thed Bjork who suffered the cruel misfortune of auto racing when a mechanical glitch robbed him of certain victory at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in round seven.

* Current points leader in the Formula Dodge National Championship Presented by RACER, Bryan Sellers has been hailed by many as one of the most promising American open-wheel drivers in the United States. A native of Centerville, Ohio, he will make his professional racing debut at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. on Aug 18-20.

* Kip Gulseth from Manitowoc, Wisc. is racing in his second year in the Barber Dodge Pro Series. He has recorded wins at Road America in the Formula Dodge Regional Championships. When not racing, he helps to manage the family construction business.

* One of three women racing in the Barber Dodge Pro Series is Greenbay, Wisc. born Rhonda Trammell. She is in her first year of professional road racing, yet is no stranger to the racetrack. Her past successes include a national karting title as well as racing experience in several junior formulae. Trammell is a driver in the CART FedEx pace car team and is married to respected CART surgeon, Dr. Terry Trammell.

* Milwaukee businessman Scott Mayer will be making his third Barber Dodge appearance at Road America.

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers Bryan Herta , Kenny Brack , Michael Valiante , Andy Lally , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Roger Yasukawa , Nilton Rossoni , Thed Björk , Sepp Koster , Rhonda Trammell , Scott Mayer , Jeff Simmons , Bryan Sellers