SBRS: Graduates have a good weekend

Barber Pro Series veteran Jerry Nadeau closed out the Winston Cup season with his first career NASCAR win at the NAPA 500 held at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The rescheduled event saw Skip Barber trained racers take four of the top-10 spots. Joining...

Barber Pro Series veteran Jerry Nadeau closed out the Winston Cup season with his first career NASCAR win at the NAPA 500 held at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The rescheduled event saw Skip Barber trained racers take four of the top-10 spots. Joining Nadeau near the top was the train of Ward Burton (3rd), Jeff Gordon (4th) and newly crowned Winston Cup Champion Bobby Labonte (5th).

Nadeau, a product of the Skip Barber Scholarship ladder, couldn't be more deserving of the victory, having logged countless miles in various series prior to arriving in NASCAR. Nadeau's resume includes a stop at the Skip Barber Eastern Regional Series, in which he won Rookie of the Year honors in 1991. That earned the Connecticut native an invitation to the 1992 Big Scholarship, which he won before moving on to multiple wins in Barber Pro Series competition in 1995.

In Europe, Skip Barber trained and Team USA Scholarship winner Phil Giebler won a hard-fought contest at Brands Hatch, England to clinch the Formula Palmer Audi Winter Series championship. The win marks the third time in three years the title has gone to a Team USA driver.

Giebler, 21, a former karting star from Oxnard, Calif, was dominant on the "Indy" circuit of the historic Brands Hatch track. Giebler, who was unable to take part in all of last week's tests, was allowed to make up track time in preparation for yesterday's races.

"I'm thrilled to be the Winter Series champion. It's been an unbelievable weekend, and this is the icing on the cake," said a euphoric Giebler. "It was a do or die situation. Five people could win the championship; whoever won the race would win the championship. I was under pressure the whole race. When I saw the checkered flag, I said, ‘Thank God!'"

Fellow Skip Barber trained and Team USA Scholarship teammate Joey Hand was out of luck today. He qualified third for Race One but was unkindly punted off the first lap, managing to fight his way back to eighth. A sixth-place finish in the final race left him a disappointed sixth in the final points tally.

"It was a tough day," said Hand, 21, also out of California. "Everything went wrong. I guess I used up my luck at Snetterton [last week]. But hey, I learned more these last two weekends than in three years of racing. It's been a fantastic experience. I can't say enough for everyone who has worked so hard to put this scholarship program together, and at the end of the day it's good that Phil was able to take the championship for Team USA."

- Andrew Torres

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Bobby Labonte , Jerry Nadeau , Joey Hand , Skip Barber