Miller on ‘Pole’ to Win 2007 Skip Barber Title this Weekend
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
[‘Clickable’ race-by-race recaps and photos below]
ALTON, Va. – The 2007 finale of the 14-race BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda is this weekend (Oct. 6-7) at Virginia International Raceway, supporting the Grand-Am KONI Challenge season-ender. Race one (round 13) is Saturday and race two (round 14) on Sunday. Three drivers remain in contention to win the title and its championship bonus of a paid ride in the 2008 Star Mazda championship (est. value of $350,000): points leader Joel Miller, second place A.J. Riley and third place Ricky Taylor.
With 366, Miller has a 32-point lead over Riley (334) and 43 over Taylor (323). A Skip Barber National win is worth 35 points, with points paid down to 24th place. In the computation of the final points standings, a driver’s single-worst result of the year is dropped from the tabulation.
Miller, 19, from Hesperia, Calif., has won four races and taken two pole positions (poles earn the driver a point each), with his worst result a 14th (worth 17 points) at Cleveland. Riley, 20, hails from Wilton, Conn., and has two victories on the year. Riley’s worst finish is also a 14th-place. All their other finishes are top-10 or better.
Taylor, the 18-year-old son of sports car racing’s Wayne, has also won twice and taken a series-leading four poles this year. But because he has two poor finishes – a 22nd and a 25th – Taylor will actually be dropping the least amount of points after the final checker flies Sunday morning.
With just the two VIR races remaining, the maximum number of points Riley can score is 389; Taylor, 395. Regardless of what those two do at VIR, if Miller nets a total of 29 points over the weekend, he’s the champ.
In the Masters Division, Dick Lippert has a slim 17-point lead over Jeff Kaiser and 28 over Dom Bastien. Lippert has four Division wins and Kaiser two. In the past four races, however, Kaiser has been racing with a distinct handicap – a major right-hand wrist sprain that’s required a cast. The cast will be off at VIR, and he’ll be gunning for victories at VIR.
2007 Skip Barber National points after 12 of 14 rounds, top 10 drivers:
1. Joel Miller, 366 (4 wins)
2. A.J. Riley, 334 (2 wins)
3. Ricky Taylor, 323 (2 wins)
4. Stevan McAleer, 309 (1 win)
5. Kyle Lawrence, 299
6. Timmy Megenbier, 292 (1 win)
7. Josef Newgarden, 276 (2 wins)
8. Jeff Oleen, 262
9. Juan Carlos Sistos, 247
10. Juan Pablo Contreras, 232
Masters Division, Skip Barber National points after 14 of 16 rounds, top 10 drivers:
1. Dick Lippert, 428
2. Jeff Kaiser, 411
3. Dom Bastien, 389
4. Quentin Wahl, 203
5. Peter Ludwig, 134
6. Harsha Sen, 110
7. Mike Distaulo, 108
8. Alan Baia, 64
9. Chris Oliver, 58
10. Stephen Kalogridis, 58