IPS: Jay Drake - Indy Racing League spotlight

DRAKE PILES UP MILES IN SEVERAL SERIES INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, July 19, 2005 -- Jay Drake is fortunate -- the temporary infield garages at The Milwaukee Mile are in close proximity. But he'll still get a workout this weekend by competing in the...

DRAKE PILES UP MILES IN SEVERAL SERIES

INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, July 19, 2005 -- Jay Drake is fortunate -- the temporary infield garages at The Milwaukee Mile are in close proximity. But he'll still get a workout this weekend by competing in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series Milwaukee 100 in addition to USAC National Silver Crown and Midget features on the historic oval.

The July 23 (USAC events) and 24 races are part of a hectic schedule for the 36-year-old Indianapolis resident that began July 14 in a sprint car at Twin Cities Raceway Park in North Vernon, Ind. He'll participate in 11 races in as many days.

"It's exciting for sure," Drake said. "It's a lot of long days, but it's what we do. I've always said that I would race every day if I could get the chance, so you have to be careful what you wish for. These next couple of weeks I do have to race every day. It's a lot harder than you think, but it's still a lot of fun.

"The hardest part is the time schedules and just trying to logistically make it all happen. So far, we're making it work."

After the Menards Infiniti Pro Series Cleanevent 100 at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway on July 16, he couldn't celebrate a season-high third place with his Vision Racing team too long. He was due to compete a few hours later at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Ind. Detailed weather communication might have saved him some angst; the sprint car event was rained out and rescheduled for July 19.

"It's busy," he said after driving the No. 20 Vision Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone from the 12th starting position. "So as long as I run good like this, it makes it more fun. We had the fastest car here all weekend, and I crashed it in the last practice. We didn't get to qualify, so we had to start last. So to come through and finish third is just a good effort."

Drake, the reigning Valvoline National Sprint Car Series champion after three runner-up finishes the previous four years, trails leader Dave Darland by 24 points at the halfway point of the season. At Milwaukee, he'll compete in the No. 22 Silver Crown car for Tony Stewart Racing and the No. 67 midget car for Keith Kunz Motorsports.

Drake tested at The Milwaukee Mile in the Vision Racing car two weeks ago and was pleased with the results and data.

"It's a tricky little racetrack," he said. "It's going to be interesting."

He'll drive all three cars July 22 and 23 in practice, qualifying and the two features -- without much down time in between. The adjustment, too, will keep him hopping.

"I'd like to think you can just jump in," he said. "With a sprint car, I've been doing it long enough where I can just jump in with limited or no practice and be right up to speed. I'd like to have a little more practice with the Menards Infiniti Pro Series cars. For the most part, it's just another day and a whole different scenario, so you just take what you've got and go with it.

"Friday is going to be a real busy day."

Drake's busy two weeks

Thursday, 14
Sprint Car -- Twin Cities Raceway Park in North Vernon, Ind. (finished 13th)

Friday, 15
Sprint Car -- Bloomington Speedway in Bloomington, Ind. (finished third)
Menards Infiniti Pro Series -- Qualifying for Cleanevent 100 at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway

Saturday, 16
Menards Infiniti Pro Series -- Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway (finished third)
Sprint Car -- Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Ind. (rained out; rescheduled for July 19)

Sunday, 17
Sprint Car -- Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind. (finished 14th)

Tuesday, 19
Sprint Car -- Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Ind.

Wednesday, 20
Sprint Car -- I-69 Speedway in Gas City, Ind.

Thursday, 21
Sprint Car -- Lawrenceburg Speedway in Lawrenceburg, Ind.

Friday, 22
Sprint Car -- Terre Haute Action Track in Terre Haute, Ind.
Menards Infiniti Pro Series practice and USAC Silver Crown and Midget practice and qualifying at The Milwaukee Mile

Saturday, 23
Silver Crown and Midget features -- The Milwaukee Mile

Sunday, 24
Menards Infiniti Pro Series -- The Milwaukee Mile

***

ESPN2's broadcast of the Menards Infiniti Pro Series Cleanevent 100 will be televised on July 21. The 2005 Menards Infiniti Pro Series season continues with the Milwaukee 100 on July 24. The race will be telecast on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. EDT on July 28.

-irl-

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Tony Stewart , Dave Darland , Jay Drake