IPS: Kentucky: Sam Schmidt Motorsports preview

Track is like home for Gregg and team Holding two of the top three spots in the championship points standings, Sam Schmidt Motorsports heads to Kentucky Speedway, a track often used by the team for test sessions, and a track that driver...

Track is like home for Gregg and team

Holding two of the top three spots in the championship points standings, Sam Schmidt Motorsports heads to Kentucky Speedway, a track often used by the team for test sessions, and a track that driver Travis Gregg considers to be almost a home track for him.

A year ago in this race, Gregg debuted in the series by winning the pole and leading 57 of the 67 laps.

Gregg, a 27 year-old Midwesterner from Camden, Ohio, drives Schmidt's #7 Lucas Oil Special. He is third in the point standings with 261 points. Gregg, who does backflips in celebration of his race wins, has three pole positions (Miami, Phoenix, Texas), two victories (Miami, Texas) and has led 154 laps in the MIPS this season.

Jaime Camara, 24, a Brazilian native residing in Miami, Fla., first tested with Sam Schmidt Motorsports at Kentucky Speedway last October. He is second the standings with 265 points. Driving Schmidt's #1 CELG, Goias entry, Camara has three pole positions (Indianapolis, Nashville, Milwaukee), two outside pole positions (Homestead, Phoenix), two wins (Indianapolis, Nashville).

Chris Festa, 19, of Atlanta, Ga, the youngest of Schmidt's drivers is sixth in the series standings with 224 points. Festa led his first MIPS lap at Texas, where he qualified second. He has one runner-up finish at Phoenix and two third-place finishes (Indianapolis road course and Texas). The teenager drives Schmidt's #19 SpacePak, CareCentric entry and attends classes at Florida State University.

Sam Schmidt Motorsports is also a means of promoting and publicizing the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation. The Foundation was created by Schmidt to help individuals overcome spinal cord injuries and other neurological disorders. Schmidt is currently recovering from serious upper spinal cord injuries suffered in a testing accident on January 6, 2000 while practicing for the season-opening Indy Racing League event at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla. Further information is available at www.samschmidt.org or (317) 236-9999

Heading into the IndyCar Series race at Michigan last weekend, Racer Magazine announced they will auction a limited production Firestone poster to be signed by all 30 drivers that have won while driving on Firehawk tires. The auction will be held on eBay in October with the proceeds to be split between Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation and CARA Charities.

Here are some thoughts from the drivers and owner going into Kentucky:

SAM SCHMIDT, Owner, Sam Schmidt Motorsports:

"Even though the team was victorious at Nashville, we have struggled 'across the board' in the last couple races. We have made some changes internally that I hope will result in better overall team performance for all three cars at Kentucky. We need to get back on track immediately if we are to have any hope of catching Wade (Cunningham, current points leader) by the end of the season."

CHRIS FESTA, #19 SpacePak, CareCentric, Sam Schmidt Motorsports Entry:

"After Milwaukee, Kentucky will be a nice treat. The track is wide, smooth and fast. I expect that what we learned at Phoenix and Texas will be important at Kentucky. The team does a lot of testing at the track, so I'm looking forward to working with the engineers and getting my car up front."

TRAVIS GREGG, #7 Lucas Oil Special, Sam Schmidt Motorsports Entry:

"Kentucky is a really special track for me. The track is a short drive from Camden - next to Lawrenceburg, I'd say Kentucky is my home track. Last year, in my first Menards Infiniti Pro Series race, I won the pole, led 57 laps and finished in the top five. Hopefully I can use Kentucky to give me some good luck, which I've needed lately, and some really great, close racing like it was at Texas."

JAIME CAMARA, #1 CELG, Goias, Sam Schmidt Motorsports Entry:

"Kentucky is where I first tested for Sam in an Infiniti Pro Series race car. I like the track, it was the first oval I had ever driven. Kentucky is a wide track that allows three-wide racing so it's supposed to be a very good race. I'm looking forward to putting together another good race weekend there so we can keep up the momentum our team is building."

-ssm-

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Chris Festa , Travis Gregg , Jaime Camara