IPS: Nashville: Notes of interest, pre-event quotes

WHAT: Cleanevent 100, fifth race in 12-race 2004 IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series season. WHERE: Nashville Superspeedway, 1.33-mile concrete oval WHEN: 4:30 p.m. (EDT), Saturday, July 17 DISTANCE: 77 laps/100 miles CARS: Dallara chassis; ...

WHAT:
Cleanevent 100, fifth race in 12-race 2004 IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series season.

WHERE:
Nashville Superspeedway, 1.33-mile concrete oval

WHEN:
4:30 p.m. (EDT), Saturday, July 17

DISTANCE:
77 laps/100 miles

CARS:
Dallara chassis; Infiniti V8 engines; Firestone tires

PREVIOUS RACE WINNERS:
2003 -- Mark Taylor; 2002 -- Cory Witherill

TV:
ESPN2, Noon (EDT), July 18

Medeiros looks for record-setting victory: Thiago Medeiros, winner of the last three Menards Infiniti Pro Series races, will look to set an IRL record with his fourth consecutive victory. Defending series champion Mark Taylor won three consecutive races in 2003. His win at Nashville was the second in that streak. The IndyCar Series record of three consecutive victories was set by Kenny Brack in 1998.

More records in sight: Medeiros is tied with Taylor and 2002 Menards Infiniti Pro Series champion A.J. Foyt IV with three wins from the pole position. All three of Medeiros' victories this season have come from the pole position. Medeiros, Taylor and Foyt also are tied with four career pole positions. The three consecutive pole positions earned by Medeiros is a series record.

Lapping the field: Medeiros has led 239 of 272 laps this season, including the last 96 laps. Earlier this season, he led 106 consecutive laps. The series record for consecutive laps led is 133 by Taylor.

Unser returns after strong debut: Al Unser finished third in his impressive Menards Infiniti Pro Series debut at Kansas Speedway on July 3. He also recorded the fastest lap of the race (187.629 mph). Unser is the son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr., and the grandson of four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Sr.

Nashville race heats up schedule: After holding just four races since Feb. 29, the Nashville event begins a stretch of three consecutive race weekends, and five races in six weeks, for the Menards Infiniti Pro Series. Half of the season's 12 races will be run in July and August.

PRE-RACE QUOTES:

P.J. CHESSON (NO. 76 MO NUNN RACING): "I'm definitely looking for a more complete weekend than we had in Kansas beginning with a full practice on Friday and being able to complete the full race instead of having a brain fade and having it end early. There are no high expectations, no pressure, no nothing.

PAUL DANA (NO. 91 HEMELGARN 91 JOHNSON MOTORSPORTS): "I expect to win it. We were quickest at the test, quickest on full tanks, quickest with cold tires, quickest all around. The Sam Schmidt guys aren't going to lay down, but we're not going to lay down either. We had about a one-tenth of a second advantage. Hopefully, we can maintain that gap."

THIAGO MEDEIROS (NO. 11 SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS): "I'm really looking forward to Nashville. I feel very confident after being the quickest in a test at Nashville, and also having run well at Kansas last weekend. The Sam Schmidt Motorsports team has done a great job all season. I want to keep winning. That keeps me motivated and will help me move up to the next level. Winning is the only way to prove how good we are and to move up to the next level."

AL UNSER (NO. 2 KEITH DUESENBERG RACING): "I'm excited I'm going to Nashville. We tested there earlier this year. Now that I have one race under my belt, I'm learning how some of the others race and drive. It's nice to know what they're going to do when you're along side of them. Hopefully we'll have a good setup on the car, do well in the race and put up another podium finish."

<pre> SCHEDULE: (all times local; subject to change)

Friday, July 16 9:15-9:45 a.m. Menards Infiniti Pro Series practice 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Menards Infiniti Pro Series practice 2:30 p.m. Menards Infiniti Pro Series qualifying 5:15-5:30 p.m. Menards Infiniti Pro Series warm-up

Saturday, July 17 3:30 p.m. Cleanevent 100 Menards Infiniti Pro Series race (77 laps/100 miles)

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Mark Taylor , Al Unser Jr. , Cory Witherill , A.J. Foyt IV , Kenny Brack , Sam Schmidt , Al Unser Sr. , Al Unser , Thiago Medeiros