Festa, Bussell Kick Off Cheever Racing's Inaugural Season In the IRL IndyPro Series With Opening Day of Practice at Homestead HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Friday, March 24, 2006) Chris Festa and Nick Bussell kicked off Cheever Racing's inaugural season on...
Festa, Bussell Kick Off Cheever Racing's Inaugural Season In the IRL IndyPro Series With Opening Day of Practice at Homestead
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Friday, March 24, 2006) Chris Festa and Nick Bussell kicked off Cheever Racing's inaugural season on the IRL IndyPro Series with the opening of official practice for Sunday's Miami 100 at the Homestead Miami Speedway.
Festa, a 20-year-old from Atlanta who drove in this series last year for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, took the reins of the #51 Formtek/Cheever Racing Dallara and logged 91 practice laps in today's two sessions around the 1.5-mile oval here. His best lap of the morning session, at 28.9275 seconds (an average of 184.807 mph), was sixth-best among the 16 entrants in the season opener for America's premiere oval series for up-and-coming drivers. Festa's lap of 28.9227 seconds (184.838 mph) was seventh-fastest in the afternoon session.
Bussell, a 23-year-old from Grand Rapids, Mich., who drove in this series for JL West Motorsports and Vision Racing in 2005, logged 75 practice laps today in the #52 Cheever Racing Dallara with best laps of 29.0101 seconds (184.281 mph) in the morning and 28.9935 seconds (184.386 mph) in the afternoon.
Practice continues Saturday morning with qualifying set for 1:30 p.m. EST. Race time Sunday's prelude to the Indy 300 for IRL IndyCar Series season opener is 11:45 a.m. EST.
"I think we are off to a solid start. We have a really good race car that I feel I can put anywhere on the track I want to in dirty air (traffic). The last couple of changes we made (in the afternoon session) really took us in a positive direction. These guys are really great to work with. We tested here three weeks ago and we've made huge leaps since then. We're all on a steep learning curve because this is their first year in the series, and I'm new to the team, but everythink is really coming along at a good pace."
"I'm pretty happy with our first day together, for being a new team in the series. New cars, new drivers, new everything. All in all I'm happy with my race car. We wanted to get a lot done today and I think we didn't miss anything we wanted to do. Chris (Festa) and I were running pretty comparable lap times, so I'm hoping that translates into a really good race on Sunday. Everything has come together quite nicely."