Despite showing signs of ring-rust after a four-month break from karting, Scott Barnes was still able to claim a fourth win at the Rock Island Grand Prix in Illinois last weekend.
Barnes, known as one of the most successful international drivers to compete at the world’s largest street race, struggled on the opening day of the two-day event, which led to him dropping two of his seven classes.
He did, however, have a far better second day, achieving four top-six finishes, including victory in the Shifter Masters.
It earned Barnes $250 and moved him into the top-20 in prize money at the 25th anniversary of the prestigious race.
“Any time you can pick up a rock [trophy] and win race, you have to be happy,” said Barnes, who made his debut at Rock Island in 2001 and has career earnings of more than $5,000
“These races are hard to win and there are a couple of guys who dominate it. Winning the Shifter Masters completely made my weekend.
Barnes, who won the L206 Margay Ignite title last year, said he made some “rookie mistakes” during the heats.
“Overall, race-wise, it was a little bit disappointing, just knowing what I can do and results that I got,” he said.
“The four months out of the kart really showed. I was scheduled to do seven races, but I ended up dropping two of them, just because Saturday’s results were so bad they put me way back in the field.
“I didn’t think being out of a kart would affect me as much as it did.”
Rock Island was the first of three overseas races for Barnes this year, with the island’s top driver planning to compete at the Skusa SuperNationals in Las Vegas in November and the Daytona International Speedway in December.
“I’ll have my karts here [in Bermuda] ready and I’ll be going down the track during the week getting some seat time,” said Barnes, who is sponsored by Butterfield & Vallis. “I’ll be a lot more prepared for Vegas.”