IPS: Indianapolis: Sam Schmidt Motorsports qualifying notes

Sam Schmidt Owns Front Row at Indy Jaime Camara takes pole, Travis Gregg second INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Sam Schmidt Motorsports regained rule over the front row of the starting grid in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series, Thursday, taking the pole...

Sam Schmidt Owns Front Row at Indy
Jaime Camara takes pole, Travis Gregg second

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Sam Schmidt Motorsports regained rule over the front row of the starting grid in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series, Thursday, taking the pole position and outside front row for the Futaba Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"I'm very excited,"said Sam Schmidt while his driver, Jaime Camara, posed for pole-winner photos after the qualifying session. "It's great to have the front row, but I'm disappointed we aren't one, two, three. Chris [Festa] has a really good car, he just had fuel pump trouble during his qualifying attempt. He'll start in the back, but he's a good driver in a good car, I know he'll be up front racing with his teammates in just a few laps."

Camara was all smiles after he climbed from his pole-winning run in his #1 CELG/Goias, Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry, posting an average lap speed of 189.870 miles per hour at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Travis Gregg starts outside on the front row with his second place effort of 189.385 in his #7 Lucas Oil Special Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry. Tom Wood, in Sam Schmidt Motorsports' #11 entry, qualified 13th with an average lap speed of 184.080. Festa starts his #19 SpacePark/CareCentric, Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry 17th, near the tail end of the field after his qualifying run was foiled by fuel pump failure--his average lap speed was 168.816.

"It just wasn't my day," said a deflated Festa. The 19-year-old Atlanta native had posted strong times in practicing, ranking fifth after the second session. "We had fuel pump problems in our qualifying run. Our warm-up lap was great, we would've been up front with Travis and Jaime, but the car nearly shut down on my first lap."

Camara, a 24-year-old Brazilian native living in Miami, was very pleased with his car's performance.

"It was good. It was really, really good," grinned Camara. "We worked on the car so it's good alone and in traffic and we should be really strong tomorrow for the race. This track is so much fun to drive, I'm looking forward to working with Travis tomorrow. We'll work as teammates all day and worry about racing each other when it gets near the end of the race."

Gregg, 27, of Camden, Ohio, is very happy to be up front and is looking forward to working with Jaime tomorrow.

"We worked on the car to get some more downforce in it so that we can stay with Jaime tomorrow when the green flag waves. Hopefully Chris will get through traffic quickly and be up there with us. Our car is really good--the race should be a lot of fun."

Driving the fourth car for Sam Schmidt Motorsports this weekend, Tom Wood, the Canadian making his first start in a race car since his hard crash in 2003 that left him with many broken bones and many months of rehabilitation, is still brimming full of competitive spirit.

"I'm anxious to be back at the front. We've got a few problems with the car that we're working through. I'm sure we'll find the speed," said Wood.

Friday's race begins at 2:00 p.m. (EDT), and will be televised live on ESPN2.

-ssm-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Tom Wood , Travis Gregg , Jaime Camara