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18-Year-Old Racer Ashley Freibeg Nominated For Prestigious Award

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ELKHART LAKE, Aug. 28, 2010: Last Saturday at Road America,

Ashley Freiberg stood before a packed media center to participate in a prestigious presentation – the announcement of the 2010 Team USA Scholarship nominees.

Freiberg, the 18-year-old driver from Homer Glen, Ill., became only the second woman ever nominated for a chance to race in the world-renowned Formula Ford events in England in October and November. Danica Patrick was the first woman racer nominated for the scholarship award in the early 2000s.

Eight drivers were nominated to compete for the United States in several important races later this year. Former Team USA Scholarship winners included the likes of former CART champion Jimmy Vasser, 2004 Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice, IndyCar Series and CART race winner Bryan Herta, NASCAR star A.J. Allmendinger and former Indy Lights titleholder J.R. Hildebrand.

Freiberg has won 15 Skip Barber events in 2010 and was the first woman to win a Barber Series championship when she captured the Southern Regional title in April.

Last month, Freiberg made more history by being the first female winner ever in the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Series presented by Mazda when she drove to victory at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

“It has been a tremendous year for me and this nomination of the Team USA Scholarship is icing on the cake,” said Freiberg, who is attempting to win the Barber Summer Series for a second title in the same season. “It is a very prestigious honor to be even nominated with a group of talented, young drivers. I am thrilled to be a part of the Team USA shoot-out later this year.”

Freiberg and the other seven nominees will participate in a special “shoot-out” hosted by the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving at Chandler, Ariz., to determine the top two Americans who will travel to the U.K. for the upcoming events.

Last weekend in the two Barber National Series races at Road America, Freiberg was seeking another victory on the famed four-mile road circuit. However, while she was leading the Saturday feature event, Freiberg’s open-wheel machine was stuck from behind by an over-aggressive driver and forced out of the event due to car damage.

“I was very frustrated by Saturday’s race,” she said. “There I was in the lead (over 20 drivers) as I entered turn five. Then ‘boom,’ I was hit and knocked out of the race. That crash also affected my Sunday event. The car wasn’t the same for the race. I was able to lead for some of the Sunday race, but I had to settle for fifth due to the Saturday damage. I know that is part of racing, but I had a great shot to win again.”

Freiberg will continue her quest for another Barber crown this weekend in the Summer Series contest at Gratten, Mich.