Miller and Barrett win Team USA scholarships
Patrick Barrett, 17, from Los Osos, Calif., and Joel Miller, 19, from Hesperia, Calif., today were named as the latest winners of prestigious Team USA Scholarships.
The pair were chosen from a short-list of seven talented young American race car drivers who were interviewed by an illustrious panel of judges during the recent Champ Car Grand Prix of San José.
The Team USA Scholarship program has provided opportunities for deserving young Americans since Jimmy Vasser received the inaugural award in 1990. Vasser went on to win the 1996 Champ Car crown and today is co-owner of the PKV Racing Champ Car team. Subsequent recipients include two contenders in this weekend’s Generac 500 American Le Mans Series event: Bryan Herta (1991), who will drive the #26 XM Satellite Radio Acura ARX-01a, and Joey Hand (2000), who campaigns the #22 Team PTG Panoz Esperante GTLM. Also among the alumni are 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice (1997); this year’s Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Phil Giebler (2000); current Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda contender J.R. Hildebrand (2005); and 2006 winner Dane Cameron, who this weekend is looking to extend his lead in the Star Mazda Championship at Road America.
Barrett, who currently leads the Pacific F2000 Championship Presented by Hankook, driving for the PR1 Motorsports team, and Miller, who leads the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda points table, will travel to England later in the fall to contest the Formula Palmer Audi Autumn Trophy. The series will comprise six races over two weekends at renowned race tracks Brands Hatch and Snetterton.
“Winning the Team USA Scholarship means a lot to me,” said Barrett, who burst onto the racing scene last year, winning the Formula Russell Championship at a canter and then scooping two race wins on his debut in the Pacific F2000 series. “Knowing that the people who support the program believe in my talent is a great feeling. I’m really looking forward to this opportunity and hope that it will open more doors in my future.”
“I have to thank everybody behind the Team USA Scholarship for giving me this opportunity to represent the U.S. this year in the Formula Palmer Audi series,” added Miller, who has been ranked as the nation’s top ICA karter the last few years. “Racing in Europe in a competitive series has always been a goal of mine, and now the Team USA Scholarship is making that a reality.”
The adjudicating panel included Vasser, Champ Car team owner Dale Coyne, Pacific Coast Motorsports (Champ Car) Team Director Tyler Tadevic, vintage racer/businessman Doug Mockett, driver manager Will Prappas, Champ Car World Series Communications Manager Tom McGovern, CCWS Media Relations Manager Karina Redmond, renowned journalists David Phillips (RACER) and David Malsher (Autosport), FormulaCar Magazine assistant Editor Allan Craighead and Team USA Scholarship founder Jeremy Shaw.
Team USA Scholarship supporters include Doug Mockett & Company, a Torrance, Calif.-based producer and supplier of “Fine Architectural Hardware For Your Fine Furniture,” American Honda, Snap-on Tools, “Stars of Karting,” Sparco USA, RACER magazine, FormulaCar Magazine, Speedstar Management, Manifest Group, The Print Network, AutoRacing1.com and an array of past Scholarship winners. Additional contributors are actively being sought.