Barrett Wins Lucky Number 7
at Infineon Raceway
Patrick Barrett comes through to
win on Saturday and Sunday in convincing fashion.
It was a jaw dropping performance by 16 year old Patrick
Barrett. As the 2006 SCCA Jim Russell Championship Series
passes its half way point, Barrett has raised the bar
even higher in the championship chase by winning Rounds
9 and 10 this weekend at the infamous Infineon Raceway
road course in California.
Round 9 on Saturday provided plenty of excitement as
Stars of Karting standout Tyler Dueck and Barrett fought
hard the whole race right up to the checked flag. After
qualifying a somewhat disappointing fourth, Barrett
focused on challenging for the lead immediately. Once
the race got under way, Barrett immediately moved up
to second spot by turn 2. He quickly changed his focus
to Dueck who had pulled two car lengths by turn 3a.
But with a good exit out of turn 4, Barrett was able
to pull right up behind Dueck and take the lead going
into challenging turn 6 carousel. Lap by lap Dueck pressured
Barrett but was unable to find a way around. A wreck
in turn 2 brought out a full course caution, leaving
only a two lap shoot-out for the top step on the podium.
Barrett, quick on the gas pedal, got a great jump on
the restart and was able to hold off Dueck for the win.
Jeff Westphal finished a well deserved third, claiming
his third podium of the season.
“This race was quite the challenge!” Barrett
said with and excited voice. “Dueck and I were
about dead even every lap, so it was important for me
to not overdrive the car. Driving smoothly was key and
I had to hit my marks every lap.”
SCCA Formula Russell Championship
race winner Pat Barrett (Photo by Steve Snyder)
Sunday saw a dominating performance
once again by the young Californian. Claiming his third
pole position of the season, things seemed to be going
his way. Barrett held the lead going into the first
set of turns, with Kayman Benetti following right in
his tracks, and Chuck Hulse trailing in third. BMX World
Champion Benetti was feeling the heat from Hulse who
eventually would slip by to take over second place.
Now setting his sight on Barrett, Hulse slowly began
to real him in lap by lap. Looking into his mirrors
and seeing the blue and silver helmet of sprint car
veteran Hulse, Barrett began to quicken his pace lap
after lap. Eventually, pulling out to a five plus second
lead, Barrett was able set fastest lap, breaking the
track record in route to claiming his seventh win in
the 2006 Jim Russell Championship Series. Hulse would
finish second maintaining his second place in the championship
with Benetti rounding out the podium in third and gaining
some much deserved points.
“Though it may have looked like an easy drive,
I was pushing just as hard as I was on Saturday and
set my fastest time of the race on the last lap. During
the earlier laps of the race I had to hold off Benetti
and Hulse but fortunately I got myself and the car into
a good rhythm and started pulling away.”
Barrett and Hulse will continue their
battle for the series crown on the weekend of July 8-9.
The SCCA Formula Russell Championship presented by Yokohama
is a seventeen race series that runs monthly at the
12 turn, 2.22 mile road course north of San Francisco.
Information about the series and the Russell Racing
School can be found at www.jimrussellusa.com.