FORMULA 2000, THE DREAM
This is an action-drama based on a true story about my son, Beaux Barfield. He is currently the IZOD Race Director and President of Competition for the IRL and presides over IndyCar Racing. Many an adventure we shared racing. The races in the novel actually happened either to Beaux, those we knew or myself. When you read the book I want you to know the premise is true. When you read Formula 2000, read carefully the races at IRP, Ruan Grand Prix and Sebring because those races actually happened to Beaux, although at different tracks. The Malibu Gran Prix story happened very similar to what we did. When it came to Malibu, most of the time I would win, but when Beaux was 14 he beat me. He thought I let him win and accused me of “sandbagging” until I showed him the times. I beat everybody but Beaux. There was no sandbagging. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed the adventure.
Hoosiers on Wheels a heart-warming and uplifting story about an impossible challenge taken on by a father and son.
The road to the INDY 500 is impossible at best, but first you must conquer the Formula 2000 race series. For a father and son things go from bad to worse until a crusty old mechanic, Charlie Pepper, offers to help. They soon find that with Pepper almost anything is possible.
Grant Kelly's son, Shannon, flunked eighth grade. A single male parent, Grant explains the importance of school and good grades, then asks Shannon what he wants to be when he grows up. The revelation is startling when Shannon says he wants to be a professional race car driver. Grant makes a promise fulfill Shannon’s dream.
At age nineteen Shannon enters the tough USAC-2000 racing series, but the competition has money and experience. BSR, with driver TJ Benson controls the series. He also has the best mechanic, old Charlie Pepper.
It is Charlie who sees the potential and untapped natural ability Shannon possesses. Charlie comes to their aid, helping Grant unload the race car for a cheaper car Charlie knows is still competitive.
TJ doesn’t like Charlie helping the father and son duo, but it is more out of jealousy for the time TJ’s father fails to spend with him. TJ is also angry because Shannon is making time with Hanna, another racer, and it appears like it’s one of the first times TJ has lost on or off the track. Angered at Hanna seeing Shannon, TJ orders Charlie to stop helping Shannon. Just as stubborn and hardheaded, Charlie refuses, quits working for TJ, and starts helping Shannon full time. Within a few races Shannon becomes more than just competitive as he mounts a challenge to the top racers.
As the season progresses Shannon becomes more competitive and begins to win in spectacular fashion. TJ is still leading in points and seems assured of the championship, but the Frenchman, Ian Poirier, still has an outside chance to win the series. Then it happens. A questionable racing incident involving Ian’s teammate Marcoux and TJ takes TJ out of the next to last race. TJ sustains injuries that will eliminate him from the last race. If Ian wins the last race he will take driver and team honors for the season. No one has beaten Ian at Road Atlanta. Only Shannon has the capability to beat Ian Poirier.
During qualifying for the last race one of the Canadian drivers, Marcoux, sacrifices his car and puts Shannon's race car out of the race, destroying the race car. Marcoux is suspended but Shannon no longer has a racer to compete with. This is when TJ, who is on crutches, offers his car to Shannon making Shannon promise to beat Ian, thus giving TJ the championship. TJ also humbles himself and apologizes to everyone, especially Charlie Pepper.
When the race starts there are problems only Charlie can solve as he again works his magic against impossible odds. Shannon manages to get on the track but at the back of the pack. He runs a spectacular race and beats Poirier on the last turn of the last lap.