Team USA Scholarship Nominees Announced

July 31, 2007, eFormulaCarNews.com - Al Craighead

The nominees for the 2007 Team USA Scholarship were announced this past weekend in San Jose, Calif. The seven drivers nominated were Patrick Barrett, Thomas Merrill, Joel Miller, Cole Morgan, Joseph Newgarden, Alexander Rossi and Ricky Taylor

As part of the Champ Car World Series event in San Jose, the nominees for the prestigious Team USA Scholarship were announced and presented to the media and selection committee. Following a brief get together in the Pacific Coast Motorsports hospitality area, each of the seven drivers took part in a round table discussion with the 2007 scholarship selection group. Taking part in the selection process were Champ Car team owner Dale Coyne, FormulaCar Magazine Assistant Editor Allan Craighead, Businessman John Hildebrand, former Jim Russell Racing executive Kjell Kallman, North American Autosport Correspondent David Malsher, Champ Car Director of Communications Tom McGovern, Businessman Doug Mockett, Racer Magazine Senior Editor David Phillips, Businessman Will Prapas, Champ Car Communications' Karina Redmond, Pacific Coast Motorsports Team Manager Tyler Tadevick, Champ Car Champion and team Owner Jimmy Vasser and Businessman Bob Whyte. In addition former award winners Dane Cameron, J.R. Hilderbrand and Robert Podlesni were also in attendance.

Barrett captured the 2006 Formula Russell Championship in dominating fashion and won both rounds of his Pacific F2000 Championship debut. Currently the 17 year-old from Los Osos, Calif. leads the 2007 Pacific F2000 Championship with five wins.

Merrill made his car racing debut last season winning numerous races and setting several records in the Formula Continental class of SCCA National Club Racing competition. The 21 year-old from Salinas, Calif. is racing in the Pacific F2000 Championship this year and scored his maiden victory at the most recent race at Miller Motorsports Park.

Miller has been one of the top karting drivers in North America for years and is the reigning Stars of Karting Intercontinental A class champion. The 19 year-old from Hesperia, Calif., is currently leading the Skip Barber National series with two wins.

Morgan, a 19 year-old from Lighthouse, Fla., immediately found success behind the wheel of car, winning numerous SCCA National FC races in an older Swift DB-6. Morgan is racing in the F2000 Championship Series in 2007, winning a series-high four races, after capturing the Cooper Series Gold Cup Championship in 2006.

Newgarden has made the move to cars in 2007, after enjoying a successful career in the karting ranks. The 16 year-old from Henderson, Tenn., has two wins as a rookie in the Skip Barber National series.

Rossi making his career racing debut in 2006, immediately found his way to victory lane, scoring multiple wins in both the Formula TR Pro Series and Skip Barber National series. The 15 year-old from Nevada City, Calif. is competing in the Formula BMW USA series in 2007 and scored his first win this past weekend.

Taylor, a second-generation driver, is making his pro racing debut in 2007, after success in the karting and regional racing ranks. Competing in the Skip Barber National series, the 17 year-old from Apopka, Fla., has one win.

Since 1990, the Team USA Scholarship has helped young American race car drivers further enhance their skills and develop new opportunities by racing abroad. Past award winners include, Champ Car World Series Champion Jimmy Vasser, Champ Car race winner and current American Le Mans driver Bryan Herta, Indianapolis race winner Buddy Rice, Champ Car race winner and current NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger, Grand-Am Series champion Andy Lally, current Atlantic driver J.R. Hildebrand and current Star Mazda Championship leader Dane Cameron.

It is expected this year's award winners will be announced at the upcoming Champ Car World Series event at Road America.

The seven nominees for the 2007 Team USA Scholarship met with the selection committee in San Jose
(Photo: Al Craighead)

For more information on the Team USA Scholarship please go to http://www.TeamUSAScholarship.org/


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