HOMESTEAD, Fla., Sunday, March 26, 2006 -- Jeff Simmons made a last lap pass on Nick Bussell to win the Miami 100 Indy Pro Series event. Simmons beat Bussell by .0199 of a second. It is the second-closest finish in Indy Pro Series history. MIAMI...
HOMESTEAD, Fla., Sunday, March 26, 2006 -- Jeff Simmons made a last lap pass on Nick Bussell to win the Miami 100 Indy Pro Series event. Simmons beat Bussell by .0199 of a second. It is the second-closest finish in Indy Pro Series history.
MIAMI 100 POST-RACE QUOTES:
JEFF SIMMONS (No. 24 Kenn Hardley Racing, winner Homestead-Miami 100): "I had to be patient the whole time. I was amazed. The car was no where near what it was like the rest of the weekend. The track changed on us a little bit. I had heard Tony Kanaan mention that before when they went out there before for their warmup that the track seemed slick today. I didn't really believe him, but I do now. I really had to work on the car just to get it balanced a little bit. Fortunately, it came at the end there and I was able to patient, stay in the race and get it in the end." (About setting up the pass) "I did try to make the pass on one lap, but saw it wasn't going to happen. I knew right then I was going to have try to beat him at the line. So I did that one time with one lap to go and just set it up on that last pass. I don't know how much we beat him by, but I don't think it was more than a couple of feet." (About being the guy to beat since the mid-point of last season) "It took a little while for us to get the monkey off our back at Kenn Hardley Racing. We've actually got a whole new group of guys this year pretty much - a new engineer who worked with us a couple of times last year, Mark Moore. Jayson Madison came on as the crew chief. It's a lot of new guys, and it was a great way to welcome them to the team with a win here. I'm just so happy we're able to continue that momentum that we had from last year."
NICK BUSSELL (No. 52 Cheever Racing, finished second): "It was a lot of work for a little while there. When I was in fourth place, it was really greasy and I was working on the adjustments in the car, trying to get a compromise so I could get up there and be racy. I got a little lucky with the yellow and when Jay (Howard) had his restart. I thought I was going to get lucky, but Jeff (Simmons) did exactly what he has the experience to do. So he got me.
JAY HOWARD (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon/Sam Schmidt Mtrspt, finished third): "The bit where me and Jonathan (Klein) were running together was really good. I felt comfortable with him there, and he was real happy with how I was driving. We just wanted to stay there until the end and have our own little race. But he got together with the other guy (Chris Festa), which was a bit unfortunate on Jonathan's behalf. And I hated to see the yellow flag. I'm not very happy but at the end of the day, third place is not bad, by a long shot. So we'll go to St. Petersburg and improve on this.
ARIE LUYENDYK JR. (No. 25 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, finished fourth): "It was great out there. You know we've been struggling all weekend. We qualified ninth and that just comes because we didn't test here. Friday was my first day on the track all year. So I'm really pleased. The team has been awesome. Chuck Buckley put together a great car from me today, a car that I can work with. It was good in traffic but a little slow in clean air. It was a great finish and we'll build on it, and hopefully we'll come back strong in St. Pete."