at Silverstone. He was a teammate to Canadian driver Bertrand Fabi, who was unfortunately killed testing a Formula One car in 1986. They were the only two North Americans in the European series and Carville scored his first win later in 1986, becoming the only American to win a Formula race in Europe that season. In the pouring rain, he outran Mark Blundell, Johnny Herbert and Bertrand Gachot, all of whom eventually made it to Formula One. Carville thought a deal to race Formula 3 was a done deal, but it fell through in the 11th hour and he headed back home where he was out of racing for two seasons. He came back with a vengeance in 1990, first winning the run-offs for the SCCA Nationals in the Formula Continental class at Road Atlanta. He also ran the Canadian Formula 2000 series, beating future CART Series champion Jimmy Vasser for the title. Carville’s team raced on a budget less than a tenth of Vasser’s multi-car team which was funded by Hollywood film maker George Lucas, famous for the Star Wars movies. “They’re racing a brand-new car built specifically for that series and backed by George Lucas,” Carville recalled. “We were quick, but we couldn’t match their pace until the eighth round. The seventh round was the only race I didn’t finish. I was running third with two laps to go and broke a motor. But, they dropped your worst result.” “Finally, at Mosport, which was my favorite track, Vasser fell out of contention after fouling a spark plug. I saw his teammate Ken Murillo fading after he overcooked the motor and spun. I wound up winning that race and I moved to the top three in points. When we got to the final race, there were five drivers with a mathematical chance of winning the championship.” With the title on the line, the conditions turned to Carville’s favor when a heavy rain storm started. Vasser won the race, but he had two DNFs which were costly and Carville’s finish of third was enough to wrap up the title by two points. Carville continued to race the next few years, doing some fill-in rides in the Toyota Atlantic Series. In 1994, he finished fifth, two spots behind future IndyCar champion Greg Ray, in the championship standings. Ironically, Carville had served as driving coach for Ray. He raced only for one more season, competing against teams with much larger budgets when he realized without a big sponsor, it would be tough to advance in the sport. He did an IMSA endurance race at Lime Rock before hanging up his helmet. It was a point where he looked back at some great experiences, even driving for Major League Baseball All- Star Robin Yount in a car sponsored by the Milwaukee Brewers, before deciding it was time to get away from racing. He returned to racing three years ago when he moved to Savannah, Ga., to work with a vintage racing team. Then, came the opportunity to move to his current role with the IHRA where he oversees the membership department. “I’m fortunate to be back in the business,” he said. “Even though I don’t have the experience in drag racing, I have the passion for it all the same. I love the personal challenge of being as perfect as you can, whether it’s the 1/8-mile or 1/4-mile drag strip or a 2 1/2-mile road course.” With the IHRA headquarters in West Palm Beach, another passion is the South Florida food scene. It’s not just the wide variety of culinary choices at restaurants, but Carville has picked up a passion for cooking like he has for racing. There are times he misses being on the road, chasing the next big win or championship. The experience is similar to when IHRA drag racers get together when they’re chasing their next win or a IHRA Summit SuperSeries track or division championship. “More than anything, I miss the friendships,” Carville said. “It’s a family when you’re racing and chasing a championship. When you are competitors, you have that respect for each other and that usually leads to good friendships.” 9