JOLIET, Ill., Sunday, Sept. 11, 2005 -- Jeff Simmons passed race leader Marty Roth at the exit to Turn 2 on the final lap to claim his third victory of the Menards Infiniti Pro Series^Ã™ season by 0.2306 of a second. It was the sixth consecutive...
JOLIET, Ill., Sunday, Sept. 11, 2005 -- Jeff Simmons passed race leader Marty Roth at the exit to Turn 2 on the final lap to claim his third victory of the Menards Infiniti Pro Series^Ù season by 0.2306 of a second.
It was the sixth consecutive top-five finish for Simmons, who started seventh in the No. 24 Team ISI car for Kenn Hardley Racing.
Roth finished a career best second, followed by rookie Nick Bussell.
CHICAGOLAND 100 POST-RACE QUOTES:
WADE CUNNINGHAM (No. 33 Motorsport New Zealand Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, finished 10th): "Travis Gregg was driving like an idiot. He kept moving up on me all race. I stayed on the high side, because the car was working really well. The two people in the front were just battling, and it looked like somebody pushed the red car down on the apron, and (Sarah McCune) slid back up the track. I went high with a conscience decision. She hit me and I hit the wall."
JEFF SIMMONS (No. 24 Team ISI Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, Chicagoland 100 winner): "I knew once we got a couple of those other really fast cars out of the race in that crash, which you never like to see, it's unfortunate, but I knew once those were out we had a better chance of winning. I didn't want to lose it for sure. I was going through a million little calculations in my head trying to figure out what the best thing to do was on every lap and the best place to be on the track. It worked out perfect." (About Firestone tires): "The donuts at the end, I'm really amazed at Firestone tires now. After those donuts, I thought that I was going to blow one of those tires, and I actually shut the engine down out there, which is why we had to get towed in. That was amazing. The tires were perfect all day." (About the season): "I'm just so happy for everybody at Kenn Hardley Racing and Team ISI. We've gotten on a little roll the second half of the year. It was a tough first half, but it's closing up a lot right now and we've got a chance at two more coming up." (What was your strategy?): "I had a plan for the start, and it was just a matter of whether I was going to be able to get to where I wanted to be. My spotters told me I was clear to go. I got up on the high side and pushed that top line around and I think we ended up fourth or something like that on the first lap. It was a battle. The restart cost some positions again. We need to get that solved. We were able to fight back at Milwaukee and here, but it cost us at a couple of other races where we weren't able to fight back. All in all, it was a great race. It was probably the most exciting race I've ever been in. We ran three wide there lap after lap. I didn't want to be the guy in the middle, but it worked out OK."
MARTY ROTH (No. 4 Roth Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, finished second): "Well, it was close but no cigar. I'll take a second. Its my best finish since I've been in this series. It was just a great race. The guys did a fabulous job. We made some changes after the last practice, and it all worked out for the better. Its great to see the guys put a great car together."
NICK BUSSELL (No. 9 Vision Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, finished third): "The last five laps were very good for us. The first part of the race was really good. I dropped to the bottom and the car was good enough there and looks like we were. Then they got a run on me and got around me. I just had problems with those guys - a couple of them blocking and moving me down on the apron and touching wheels. It wrecks your momentum as soon as you have to lift once for that."
JON HERB (No. 6 AERCON Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, finished fourth): "It was a good race. Obviously, we were disappointed with the qualifying run, but we put some things back in place for the race, and it ran really well. I was kind of able to get up there and work with my teammate Nick (Bussell) a little bit. I'm really sorry Jay (Drake) had a problem out there. These cars are so evenly matched, they're so close, it's so easy to get a run on people up there and move it all around. We just got shuffled back in the cars there, and I was finally able to get up and get at least a second or third place, but we got shuffled there at the last moment with Marty (Roth) running up the hill. He pushed up the hill and took me with him. I think Nick (Bussell) dive-bombed both of us. I'm sure it was a good race for the fans. It was exciting from the cockpit."
TRAVIS GREGG (No. 7 Lucas Oil Products-SSM Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The car was good today. I think I had a lot more car than I was able to show in the later stages of the race. After watching the wreckage of the big crash slide across the track in front of me and slam into the outside retaining wall, I was trying to make sure I'd be there for the checkered flag. I know we picked up some points today, but I'd rather get them racing, not with the points leader getting caught up in a crash."