SBRS: The fastest girl in Phoenix

Fast Facts -- Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske in the Barber Dodge Pro Series support race at the Sun Automotive 200 at Phoenix International Raceway, April 19 - 22 - Senske, 21, is one of the hottest young female drivers in auto racing, and drove...

Fast Facts -- Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske in the Barber Dodge Pro Series support race at the Sun Automotive 200 at Phoenix International Raceway, April 19 - 22

- Senske, 21, is one of the hottest young female drivers in auto racing, and drove two weekends ago in the 'Pro' division of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

- She drives for Lynx Racing, one of the most unique teams in auto racing. Owned by two women, Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, Lynx is a championship-winning driver development program that includes among its graduates CART drivers Patrick Carpentier, Alex Barron and Memo Gidley

- Senske races in the Barber Dodge Pro Series, which is the college varsity of auto racing. From there she will progress to triple-A, the CART Toyota Atlantic series, and then on to the majors, the CART FedEx series.

Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske, 21, is one of the hottest young female drivers in auto racing, and this weekend at the Sun Automotive 200 she will be returning to her usual venue -- the stepping-stone Barber Dodge Pro Series -- after a weekend of banging fenders with movie stars as a driver in the 'Pro' division of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

"It was a great experience and I got to meet people who were my heroes and role models when I was growing up," says Senske, who drives the #19 Lynx Racing Reynard 98E. "Driving in different forms of racing like the Toyota Celica I drove at Long Beach is good for a driver's education, but I'm happy to return to my usual ride because my goal is to race in CART and the Indy 500, and the Barber Dodge Pro Series is a major step toward what I've been working for since I was seven years old."

Senske started racing in karts at age 7, won her first race at 8 and her first championship at 9. She has been a member of the Lynx Racing team for five years, and this is her second year as a full-time driver in the Barber Dodge Pro Series. She's so serious about doing well in the series that she moved away from her home and family in Kennewick, Washington to live in an apartment near the Lynx Racing shop at the Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, California. Her usual routine is to work out in the morning, go to the shop in the afternoon and go karting with fellow Lynx driver David Rutledge and Lynx team manager/driving coach Steve Cameron several days a week.

The Barber Dodge Pro Series car she'll race this weekend is a single-seat, open-wheel car (similar to the cars that race at Indy), powered by a 265 horsepower V-6 engine and with a top speed of approximately 160 mph. The races are 40 minutes long, and more than $1 million in prize money is awarded over the course of a 12-race season. Practice and qualifying for the Barber Dodge Pro Series race this weekend is on Thursday and Friday, with the race scheduled to take the green flag at 4:00 pm, Saturday, April 21. The event will be televised on ESPN2, May 3 at 6:00 pm EDT.

Lynx Racing, founded eleven years ago by Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty is dedicated to providing that career-making 'big break' to potential young champions who have the speed but not the money or connections. The Lynx program is a 'scholarship' that includes funding, the best cars and equipment and instruction in the wide range of disciplines demanded in modern motorsports, from chassis setup and racecraft to dealing with the media, the fans and corporate sponsors. Lynx graduates include CART FedEx drivers Patrick Carpentier, Alex Barron and Memo Gidley.

Lynx drivers for 2001 include David Rutledge, 22, of Vancouver, B.C., and Sara Senske, 21, of Kennewick, Washington. The team will also field a car in six races for Michael Valiente, 21, also of Vancouver, B.C. Rutledge and Valiente will be teammates competing in the CART Toyota Atlantic series, while Senske races in the Barber Dodge Pro Series. Atlantic is the triple-A baseball of open-wheel auto racing, just one step below the Champ Cars of the CART FedEx championship. The Barber Dodge series is one rung further down the ladder, much like college varsity baseball. Both are 'development' series where the top drivers of tomorrow sharpen their skills for a season or two before moving up.

-Lynx-

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Memo Gidley , Patrick Carpentier , David Rutledge , Alex Barron , Steve Cameron