SBRS: Nazareth Sara Senske; puts fastest foot forward

Fast Facts Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske in the Barber Dodge Pro Series Support Race at the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix at Nazareth, April 8 -- 9 - Sara Senske, 21, is one of the top female drivers in open-wheel racing today, and...

Fast Facts

Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske in the Barber Dodge Pro Series Support Race at the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix at Nazareth, April 8 -- 9

- Sara Senske, 21, is one of the top female drivers in open-wheel racing today, and drives for the only championship-winning racing team/driver development program owned by women.

- Lynx alumni include CART FedEx drivers Patrick Carpentier, Alex Barron and Memo Gidley

- Lynx Racing has won support race events at Nazareth four years in a row, 1995 - 1998. This will be Senske's first race on the 1-mile tri-oval, but in her two previous seasons of open-wheel experience, she has started from the pole twice, both times on ovals.

- The Barber Dodge Pro Series is the college baseball of auto racing, preparing drivers to move up to triple-A clubs (Toyota Atlantic or Indy Lights). The 60-lap Barber Dodge race takes the green flag at 3:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon

Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske will be putting her fastest foot forward onto oft-conquered ground when she takes the green flag Sunday afternoon for the 60-lap Barber Dodge Pro Series support race at the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix at Nazareth. This will be the first time Senske, one of the top female drivers in open-wheel racing, has raced at the fearsomely-fast 1-mile tri-oval, but Lynx drivers are 4 for 5 in victory lane at Nazareth: Patrick Carpentier in 1995 and 1996, Alex Barron in 1997 and Buddy Rice in 1998. Carpentier, Barron and Lynx Racing's 1999 graduate, Memo Gidley, have all graduated to the ranks of the CART FedEx series. "Living up to the standard set by Lynx Racing at Nazareth is going to be tough, but I seem to have a particular affinity for ovals, so I'm going into the weekend with a high degree of confidence," says Senske, 21, of Kennewick, Washington. "I've started on the pole twice at ovals, and I really like the rhythm you get into when the car is set up right. Barber Dodge is a 'spec' series in which all the cars are identical, and the pool of driving talent is incredibly deep, so it's going to be a real battle with cars three wide into the turns. You have to be aggressive, but you also have to balance that out with a little patience and intelligence to stay out of trouble and be around for the finish." In 1999, Senske ran a total of 20 races in both the Star Mazda (open-wheel) and Women's Global GT (sports cars) series. She finished 6th in the Mazda series, and 4th in the WGGT series, completing every lap of every race in both series. She won the Portland round of the WGGT from the pole, led every lap and set the fastest lap of the race on her way to a 27-sec. margin of victory over the second-place finisher. In the 20 races, she scored one win, one pole, three fastest race laps, three podiums as well as six top-5 and six top-10 finishes.

Senske Biography

Senske, whose father was the 1989 SCCA Production Class rally champion, began racing karts at age 7 and won her first race at 8. After making the switch from karts to cars at the Skip Barber Racing School in 1996 and running in the top five at a number of races in the school's 'West Coast Series' races, she was signed by Lynx Racing. Early in her racing career, Senske won three karting Grandnational events, and finished in the top five seven times. She won the International Karting Federation Region 6 Gold Cup Championship in 1988 and again in 1989, and was the regional champion three years in a row, 1990-1993 in the Junior II 4-cycle class. Senske's hobbies include ice skating, rollerblading, skiing, hiking and writing poetry. She is also a music fan, including contemporary Christian, jazz and classical. Her favorite foods are Thai, Italian and Mexican, and her favorite TV show is "I Love Lucy." She lists among her talents the ability juggle, and if she couldn't be a racing driver, she'd like to be a player on the Olympic Women's Ice Hockey team.

Barber Dodge Pro Series

The Barber Dodge Pro series, now in it's 15th year, is the college baseball of auto racing, a training ground for future stars to move up to the CART Toyota Atlantic or Indy Lights series. It was created in 1986 by former F1 driver Skip Barber as a centerpiece to his famed racing school and eight of the season's 12 races will be run as support events on CART FedEx weekends. Like the CART Atlantic series, Barber Dodge is a 'spec' series in which competitors all drive identically-prepared Reynard 98E race cars, powered by 265 hp, 3.2 liter, all-aluminum Dodge Intrepid V-6 engines. All cars are owned, maintained and transported to race venues by the series. Eight of this season's 12 races will be held in conjunction with CART FedEx events, and Pro Series races are broadcast in the U.S. by ESPN2 and around the world by ESPN International, Sky TV and Eurosport. The series has an extensive scholarship program that allows talented young drivers to climb the ladder from karting to the CART FedEx series. The Barber Dodge Pro Series annually awards more than $1 million in prize money, scholarships and contingencies, and series alumni include NASCAR driver Jerry Nadeau, 1999 Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack and 1999 CART FedEx champion Juan Montoya.

Lynx Racing

Lynx Racing is both a championship-winning racing team and one of the most unique and successful driver development programs in motorsports today. The team's mission is to seek out young racing drivers with championship potential and provide them with the resources and training to make the jump to the top levels of auto racing. Created and owned by Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, Lynx Racing marks its 10th anniversary in 2000. Senske's Lynx teammates include David Rutledge and Mike Conte, both already competing in the CART Toyota Atlantic series. The team won back-to-back Atlantic championships in 1996 and 1997, with Patrick Carpentier and Alex Barron, respectively. Lynx alumni who've graduated to the CART FedEx series include Carpentier, Barron and Memo Gidley, who won five races with Lynx during the 1997 and 1998 seasons. Other drivers who've had a Lynx on their car early in their careers include CART FedEx competitor Richie Hearn and IRL/ALMS driver Jeret Schroeder.

<pre> Event Schedule:

Friday, April 7 8:00 a.m. -- 8:30 a.m. Barber Dodge Practice Session

Saturday, April 8               
8:00 a.m. -- 8:30 a.m.  Barber Dodge Practice
4:45 p.m. -- 5:15 p.m.  Barber Dodge Single Car Qualifying

Sunday, April 9 3:30 p.m. Race Start / 60 Laps

Television Schedule

Sunday, April 27 3:30 p.m.(EST) / ESPN2

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Jerry Nadeau , Memo Gidley , Jeret Schroeder , Patrick Carpentier , Kenny Brack , Richie Hearn , David Rutledge , Alex Barron , Buddy Rice , Skip Barber