IPS: Milwaukee: Sam Schmidt Motorsports Saturday notes

Two Poles in a Row for Camara Sam Schmidt Motorsports Qualifies First, Eighth, Eleventh MILWAUKEE, Wisc. - At a track that boasts more than 100 years of racing history, Sam Schmidt Motorsports put its mark in the history books with Jaime...

Two Poles in a Row for Camara

Sam Schmidt Motorsports Qualifies First, Eighth, Eleventh

MILWAUKEE, Wisc. - At a track that boasts more than 100 years of racing history, Sam Schmidt Motorsports put its mark in the history books with Jaime Camara taking the top spot in Saturday's qualifying session at the Milwaukee Mile.

Camara captured his second straight pole position in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series, turning a lap of 25.5790 seconds (142.852 miles per hour) in his #1 CELG/Goias Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry. Teammate Chris Festa of Atlanta, Ga., qualified the #19 SpacePak/CareCentric Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry eighth with a lap time of 26.5128 (137.820 MPH). Travis Gregg didn't get a chance to test teammate Camara's nerves in qualifying as the #7 Lucas Oil Special Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry remained in the garage for repairs throughout the qualifying session. Gregg will start at the rear of the field on Sunday, in 11th.

The 24-year-old Camara, a Brazilian native living in Miami, beamed with pride after earning his third pole of the season.

"This track is so difficult," Camara said. "It is definitely a driver's track. You can make a little mistake here and you don't just ruin your lap, you crash your car. I tried to be patient and build up speed through the weekend. The engineers and I have had good communication about the car and we think we are ready for the 100 laps tomorrow."

Festa, a 19-year-old Florida State University student, starts eighth. He's curious about how the race will pan out on Sunday.

"Our engine never got cool enough after practice, so it got a little hot on our second lap in qualifying. This track is as tough a track as I've driven," Festa said. "I'm interested to see how the race will go. If we can all keep clear of the outside wall, it should be great. As drivers, we will have to stay smart and patient out there to still be running at the end of 100 Milwaukee miles."

Festa was alluding to the harsh statistic that only three Pro Series cars were still running at the end of last year's visit to the Milwaukee Mile.

For the first time in his Pro Series career, Gregg will start at the rear of the field.

"We were looking for more speed in practice, and I just pushed too hard in the wrong spot," said Gregg of the crash near the end of the morning's practice session. "This track doesn't have room for errors, and if anyone forgot that, I think I brought it back to the top of their mind this morning. My crew is awesome, they'll get the car ready for me for race day and my job will be to stay patient and be there when the checkered flag waves."

Owner Sam Schmidt had golf and racing on his mind after sharing time with a friend that owns a golf course north of Milwaukee and talking about the PGA event that's happening across town this weekend.

"Milwaukee is a track that's something like golf. If you run the laps right, you find the right groove and you work your throttle exactly right, it feels awesome - just like smashing the ball over 400 yards or sinking a perfect putt. But if you miss at Milwaukee, you'll probably be making divots in the outside retaining wall - and it's definitely not as soft as a putting green," chuckled Schmidt. "Seriously, for engineers and drivers, this track is very hard. They are both trying to work on their ends of the deal, either changing their driving line or changing setups on the car, and it's kind of like herding cats. There are times when it seems like the engineer and driver will never get all their ideas headed in the same direction at the same time, and then it works like it did with Jaime and Tim and it's awesome."

Sunday's 100-lap race begins at 1:00 p.m. (EDT) and will be televised on a tape-delayed basis at 3 p.m. (EDT), on July 28th on ESPN2.

-ssm-

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