Positioned as one of the most competitive amateur race series in North America, the Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER magazine lives up to its billing this weekend when the title chase comes to a close and a new champion is ...
Positioned as one of the most competitive amateur race series in North America, the Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER magazine lives up to its billing this weekend when the title chase comes to a close and a new champion is crowned at Daytona International Speedway. Twenty-plus racers will contest the finale rounds on the 24 Hour road course. Points leader Julio Campos currently has the advantage but will have to withstand a last charge from Barber-CART Karting Scholarship winner A.J. Allmendinger, who needs a strong weekend to upset the Brazilian.
Campos flourished during Rounds 5 through 8, winning four in a row, and earning a points payout that has made the difference to date. Allmendinger leads all racers in top-5 finishes this season, at one time enjoying a run of five consecutive podiums. Factoring two drops from their overall tally, Allmendinger trails Campos by 14 points heading into Rounds 12 and 13. Canadian Dan Di Leo sits third in championship points, followed closely by Landon Yee in fourth. Florida’s Scott Presti and Californian Leonardo Maia are tied for fifth.
The top four racers are mathematically capable of winning the championship, a fully-funded season in the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series, valued at $195,000. Besides Campos and Allmendinger, Canadian Dan Di Leo and California’s Landon Yee can claim the crown but would need super-strong results coupled with hard luck for the frontrunners. And while the focus among these four is the Formula Dodge National Championship Barber-CART Scholarship, opportunities abound elsewhere. Racers that complete the championship in positions two-through-eight automatically qualify to participate in a two-day run-off using the Dodge-powered Reynard 98E racecar. These drivers are evaluated in both on and off track activities such as multiple track and interview sessions. The winner of this run-off receives the Barber-CART Big Scholarship, a second fully-funded season in the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series.
In addition to the aforementioned six racers, Tophie Stewart, Juan Manuel Polar, Grant Maiman, Dan Kraus and Barber-CART Karting Scholarship winner Tommy Contino can finish the season in the top-8, allowing them to participate in the runoff.