IPS: Camara earns hard fought Nashville victory

Jaime Camara won his second Menards Infiniti Pro Series race after taking on all comers in the Cleanevent 100 at the Nashville Superspeedway. Camara earned the pole position in Friday's qualifying and led every lap but did not before facing...

Jaime Camara won his second Menards Infiniti Pro Series race after taking on all comers in the Cleanevent 100 at the Nashville Superspeedway. Camara earned the pole position in Friday's qualifying and led every lap but did not before facing serious challenges from four formidable challengers.

At the start Camara and his Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammate Travis Gregg made contact at the entrance to turn one allowing Wade Cunningham, who started third to slot into second place. Cunningham made several bold moves to take the point but Camara was strong through turns three and four and was able to negate any advantage that Cunningham gained at the other end of the speedway.

"We were sitting really good in the second half of the race," said Cunningham. "The car was really good." Unfortunately Cunningham was unable to run close to other cars in the draft and faded to fourth at the checkered flag.

After Cunningham hounded Camara for 45 laps Arie Luyendyk took over second place. Luyendyk made a strong run from his fourth pace starting position but once he reached Camara he never made a serious challenge for the lead. Luyendyk held second place for four laps before Jon Herb took over the position.

During Herb's six lap stint in second place Camara successfully held the lead. Once Jeff Simmons took over the runner up spot the battle intensified and Camara faced his toughest challenger.

Simmons made several bold moves for the lead but was checked by Camara each time. Simmons made a strong run down the backstretch followed by a move to the inside but Camara was able to use that portion of the track to his advantage forcing Simmons to get off the throttle. Simmons reappeared under Camara's rear wing several laps later and forced his way to the inside at the entrance to turn one. The two cars made contact with Simmons making an incredible move to keep from spinning and hitting the wall. The yellow flag was shown for the incident but Simmons could not maintain his pace when racing resumed.

"After the contact I think we may have damaged something a little bit on the right front," said Simmons.

Camara called the incident "a racing thing. I entered turn one and he was there. I didn't see him there and we touched. I almost crashed because it threw me into the marbles."

Simmons finished second followed by USAC driver Jay Drake in third. Drake turned the fastest lap of the event on Friday but was unable to qualify after a crash during practice. "We had the fastest here all weekend and I crashed it in the last practice," said Drake. "We didn't get to qualify so we had to start last. So to come through and finish third is a good effort."

Cunningham was fourth followed by Nick Bussell in his first appearance with Vision Racing. Jon Herb was sixth with Chris Festa and Arie Luyendyk Jr. finishing seventh and eighth, respectively.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Jon Herb , Arie Luyendyk , Sam Schmidt , Jeff Simmons , Jay Drake , Nick Bussell , Chris Festa , Wade Cunningham , Jaime Camara