Barnes denied chequered flag in Indianapolis
Scott “Skitchy” Barnes came close to a memorable victory at the Battle of the Brickyard at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway — but was overtaken on the final lap to finish second.
Barnes was leading a field of 49 drivers in the L206 Margay Ignite Final going into the last lap when he was passed by the experienced Jeff Dolian.
The Bermudian, who qualified in eighth position, said it was an “awesome experience” to have led for the majority of the race but conceded that the best driver won on the day.
“My goal was to podium and I found myself in the lead faster than I thought I would,” Barnes said. “When the white flag came out I really wanted to win, but [Dolian] made a brilliant pass and there was nothing I could do. I had to give him the room to go around the outside.”
For Dolian the win capped off a superb weekend as it gave him a clean sweep in the masters and senior classes.
“[Dolian] wasn’t just anybody and won six races during the weekend,” Barnes said. “He was a fast guy.”
Barnes, the former Bermuda Karting Club president, also raced in the Shifter Final, finishing eleventh out of 27 karters.
The 33-year-old was sitting pretty in fifth place until he “dropped two wheels off the track and onto the grass” and never fully recovered.
“I had a breakdown after that,” said Barnes, who qualified in sixth.
“I just didn’t race very well at all and ended up dropping to eleventh. It was a stacked field but it was good to run in the top eight for most of the weekend. It was just one bad final race.”
Racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a special moment for Barnes, who had the opportunity to drive on the fabled Indy 500 track during a parade lap.
“It was my first time racing in Indianpolis; all that history — it’s the racing capital of the world,” he said. “Just being there, leading a race, and finishing in the top two was an awesome experience.
“We also got to do a parade lap around the Indy 500 track with all 300-and-something karts. It was a cool experience.”
Barnes was without a mechanic for the weekend and was thankful not to encounter any issues with either of his two karts.
“I had no tuner because he had to fly to Florida because his grandfather was really sick,” Barnes said.
“I started stressing because I had two karts to get St Louis to Indy and no way to get them there. I ended up getting one of the teams to take one of my karts down while I flew to my tuner’s house and put my shifter in the back of his truck before driving it four hours [to Indianapolis].”
This summer Barnes is competing in the maiden Triple Crown of Karting.
He endured mixed fortunes in the opening race, the Quincy Grand Prix in Illinois last month, finishing fourth in the Shifters while spinning out in the L206. The Thor Industries Elkhart Riverwalk Grand Prix in Indiana is up next from August 10 to 12, with the Rock Island Grand Prix in Illinois set for September 1 to 2.
“I’m just concentrating on one race at a time,” he said “My aim is to try and podium in each race.”