Skip Barber Alumn shine at Long BeachApr 17, 2023
Skip Barber Alumni Kyle Busch and Zane Smith finished second and third, respectively, behind Corey Heim in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway late Friday night. Heim’s first win in a race saw two red flag periods for weather and multiple charges by the two graduates.
Skip Barber graduate John Hunter Nemechek was on fire during the Saturday night Xfinity Series Race at Martinsville. Nemechek won the first stage and was the class of the field by running up front the entire night.
After taking the checkers, Nemechek burned it down by setting the track and his car on fire with an epic burnout.
The win was Nemechek’s second of the 2023 Season, giving him a 21-point lead over fellow Skip Barber Alum Austin Hill. The second-generation driver is the son of Front Row Joe Nemechek, who got his nickname from fellow Skip Barber grad Wally Dallenbach for his frequent front row starts in the late 1990s.
Skip Barber graduates Madison Snow, and Bryan Sellers scored their second consecutive GTD class win in the first sprint race of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar season at the IMSA Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. It was their second consecutive win of the season in the Paul Miller Racing No. 1 BMW M4 GT3. “The race really came to us after the pit stop. I moved from third to second during my stint. The Paul Miller boys had a great stop, and we jumped ahead of the Aston. Bryan held him off as they both reentered the race and continued to hold him off until the checkered flag.” Said Madison.
Skip Barber National Champion Connor De Phillippi, driver No. 25 BMW M Hybrid V8, got his second consecutive runner-up finish. We gave a good run for the win, but we can be very proud of our effort today.” Said Bobby Rahal, team principal, and Skip Barber Alum.
The first race for Wayne Taylor Racing and Andretti Autosport started brilliantly, with the team qualifying the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 on pole position. The team gave it everything as Skip Barber Graduate and Southern National Series Racer Ricky Taylor went for the win with under two minutes remaining in the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. As the checkered flag was nearing, Taylor went for the lead on the front stretch into Turn 1 before unfortunately contacting the wall – ending the team’s day.
“It’s not the ending that we wanted,” said Skip Barber Alum and road racing ace Wayne Taylor. “We really had a good car, and both the drivers did a great job.
Ricky’s brother and fellow SBRS alum, Jordan, finished runner-up in his Chevrolet Corvette C8.R in the GTD Pro Class.
Skip Barber Alum Joey Logano’s No. 22 Team Penske Ford team was the runner-up in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway. That is not bad for a driver whose average running position was 21st.
The defending Cup Series champion qualified 15th but was sent to the rear before the green flag of Sunday’s race as a penalty for unapproved pre-race adjustments.
The first break for the No. 22 team came at Lap 303 when a loose right-rear wheel and tire detached from Skip Barber Alum Anthony Alfredo’s Chevrolet before green-flag pit stops had finished cycling through. That caution left just 11 cars on the lead lap, including Logano.
The team’s next break came when JJ Yeley contacted the outside wall in Turn 3 to bring out the race’s final caution. Crew chief Paul Wolfe’s decision to leave Logano out put him into the lead. Ultimately, Logano held on for a second-place finish, his second of the season and third top five of 2023.
“There are days when you’re mad about second — most of the time you are — but days like today, you’re pretty happy to see the front at the end.”.
Skip Barber graduate and Andretti Autosport Team Owner Michael Andretti scored his first and last victories at Long Beach. This weekend his driver and fellow SBRS Alum, Kyle Kirkwood, scored his first pole and win. Kyle competed in the Skip Barber Race Series in 2013 and scored seven podium finishes. The Florida native became the first driver to sweep the USF2000 and USF Pro 2000 championships and went on to win a remarkable twenty-one Road to Indy race wins in just two years.
His race execution was perfect. He led from the start, nailed the restarts, and in what proved to be the move of the race, managed his tires and fuel to go one lap further than the cars he was racing against, which was the key to victory in the final laps.
“This is amazing,” he said after climbing from Andretti Autosport’s No.27 Honda. “Oh my gosh. What a day. I was so happy with just the pole yesterday, but I’m over the moon right now. This is incredible.”
Kyle’s teammate, Romain Grosjean, finished second, and SBRS graduate, Colton Hertas’ fourth-place finish, made it quite a day for Andretti Autosport.
Other Skip Barber alums with quality finishes were Josef Newgarden in 9th, Santino Ferrucci in 11th, and Graham Rahal in 12th.
Come learn from the instructors who have trained these champions. Check out the upcoming racing schools scheduled for Sonoma Raceway, Lime Rock Park, VIRginia International Raceway, and WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca, the site of the 2023 IndyCar championship race. Then give us a call at 866-932-1949 and speak to one of our Series Advisors.