IPS: Gregg snares first pole of season at Homestead

IPS: Gregg snares first pole of season at Homestead

Sam Schmidt Motorsports swept the front row for Sunday's Homestead-Miami 100 with Travis Gregg earning his second career pole position. This will be Gregg's fourth start in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series and the young Camden, Ohio driver has...

Sam Schmidt Motorsports swept the front row for Sunday's Homestead-Miami 100 with Travis Gregg earning his second career pole position. This will be Gregg's fourth start in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series and the young Camden, Ohio driver has not started further back than second. "I think my average starting position must be 1.5," said Gregg with a smile.

Travis Gregg.
Photo by Tony Johns.
Gregg averaged 189.256 mph around the 1.5-mile Homestead Miami Speedway, stopping the clocks two-tenths of a second faster than his nearest competitor. "I knew I had a fast car," said Gregg, who topped all three practice sessions. "On my warm up lap I got up to speed really fast. After that it was just a matter of running two consistent laps."

Gregg's teammate, Jaime Camara, will start on the front row in his first Pro Series start. Camara qualified at 187.913 mph, his fastest lap of the event. "The car was good but I was hitting the rev-limiter going into turn one and three. On my second lap I shifted gears but that was a mistake. I think we can make the car better for the race tomorrow."

Gregg and Camara held first and second positions overall for Sam Schmidt Motorsports through all three practice sessions.

Two newcomers to the Pro Series fill the second row, with Nick Bussell and Mishael Abbott starting third and fourth, respectively. "It was pretty good for my first race and the team's first race," said Bussell, who will drive for JL West Motorsports this season. JL West Motorsports is run and owned by former Cheever team member and northeast Supermodified standout Jeff West.

When qualifying ended, Mishael Abbott could barely contain her enthusiasm, having qualified fourth in her first series appearance. "I'm elated," she said after hugging every member of her family. "My plan was to go out there and find the shortest line around the track. That was my fastest lap of the weekend, so I'm really excited."

With a second-row starting position the attractive 23-year old resident of Coral Springs, Florida is now looking to stay out of trouble and complete her first Pro Series race. "Our goal as a team is to complete every lap, finish the race and do well."

Abbott has signed to drive for Hemelgarn Johnson Motorsports in five Pro Series events this year.

Jon Herb rounded out the top five qualifiers for Sunday's race.

Al Unser managed to find a last minute ride for Sunday's Pro Series race qualifying eighth at a speed of 185.333 mph. The son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. is driving for Brian Stewart Racing this weekend.

In the final practice before Sunday's race, Jay Drake was involved in a single car incident when he spun in turn one and made contact with the SAFER barrier. After climbing from the car without assistance, Drake was taken to the infield care center where he was checked by Dr. Henry Bock, IRL senior director of medical services. Drake was cleared to drive.

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