Barber-CART Big Scholarship Competition
Press Release (December 2001)
    American Leonardo Maia, 21, of Oakland, Calif. claimed the $195,000 Barber-CART Big Scholarship after an intense and ultra competitive two-day shoot-out at Sebring International Raceway in Florida. The Scholarship takes the form of a fully sponsored drive in the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series. A panel of judges that included 1991 Barber Pro Series champion and current CART star Bryan Herta as well as CART Chief Steward Chris Kneifel, driver and commentator Tommy Kendall and Players driver coach Richard Spenard.
    ”I can’t even describe what I felt (when he was announced as the winner),” said a relieved and elated Maia. “Obviously I’m incredibly happy – overwhelmed.”
    Maia excelled on as well as off the track. But it was really on the track where he acquitted himself by leading all four sessions. Hot on his heels was 18-year old A.J. Allmendinger. The Formula Dodge National Championship Presented by RACER runner-up was once again the brides-maid having finished second to Maia in every session. Behind the pair, Landon Yee, Scott Presti, Dan Dileo, Juan Manuel Polar and Dan Kraus piled on the pressure.
    ”To have people like Herta, Kneifel, Kendall, Richard and the entire Skip Barber organization pick you, effectively saying, ‘you’re the one we want you to represent us’ is an incredible feeling,” Maia added.
For their part judges Herta, Kneifel, Kendall, and Spenard derived a great deal of satisfaction from their first official Barber-CART Scholarship program.
    Kendall: “I always admired what Skip has done. It’s not just that he says it, but that he’s gone out and put programs together like this actually puts them in seats that advance their careers. I’m proud to have been a part of it.”