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.



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