HOWARD CLAIMS WIN, GUITAR AT NASHVILLE
LEBANON, Tenn., Saturday, July 15, 2006 -- Jay Howard, driving the No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon/ Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry, passed Wade Cunningham on a late-race restart and claimed his first career Indy Pro Series victory in the Sunbelt Rentals 100.
SUNBELT RENTALS 100 POST-RACE NOTES:
This is Jay Howard's first Indy Pro Series victory of the season and his first career victory. His previous-best finish was second at St. Petersburg2 and the oval Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
This is Sam Schmidt Motorsports' 12th victory in the Indy Pro Series, increasing its record total. It previously won with Thiago Medeiros, Jaime Camara and Travis Gregg. Its last win came with Gregg at Kentucky in August 2005.
This is Sam Schmidt Motorsports' third-consecutive win at Nashville Superspeedway. It won with Thiago Medeiros in 2004 and Jaime Camara in 2005.
Jaime Camara finished a season-best second place. His previous best finish was third on the oval Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Jonathan Klein recorded his second-consecutive third-place finish in the Indy Pro Series. He has finished in the top five in the five of the last six races.
SUNBELT RENTALS 100 POST-RACE QUOTES:
JAY HOWARD (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, Sunbelt Rentals 100 winner):
"The car was perfect. That was a perfect car and perfect race. No matter how we get the win, we get the win. I'm glad that Wade and some of the other guys didn't do as good. Now we're in a strong position. If we get a half-decent result at Milwaukee, (Infineon) will be the decider."
(About teammates' reaction):
"It's amazing. I've got the best teammates I've ever wished for. You could see how happy they are."
(About taking lead on restart):
"(Wade) had a miss shift. He hit the limiter and had a miss-shift. I went by and moved out so Jaime could get a tow. That worked perfectly."
(About winning guitar):
"I'm going to give it a go. I'm sure my neighbors won't be happy, but I'll just get some music lessons."
WADE CUNNINGHAM (No. 1 Brian Stewart Racing, finished fifth):
"When I was running out front it was perfect. I definitely felt like I had the fastest car. I was comfortably the quickest on the green flag laps. I couldn't get good restarts. It was frustrating because I knew it was coming on a restart."
TOM WOOD (No 42 Kenn Hardley Racing, finished fourth) :
"At the beginning of the race I didn't have a lot of car. At the end the race, I had a lot of car. I might have had something for Klein, but not enough for the leaders.
(About battle with Cunningham):
"I think Wade came down on me, but I think he knew that, so he gave up the position."
GEOFF DODGE (No. 33 Fast Track to Indy, finished 12th):
"We were actually pretty loose, and it just kept getting looser and looser coming out of Turn 4. I thought I was going to lose it coming off of (Turn) 4 if I didn't tighten the car up. At the same time, we were getting tighter and tighter in Turn 2. I drove it in a little hot because they said you're catching up to Luyendyk, so I was trying to keep the pressure on, otherwise you're just riding around out there. I got out of the groove a little bit and got into the marbles. The first time it happened I hit the brakes and shook it loose and saved it. But the next time, not so lucky. I hurt Brian's car, and I feel bad about that. I just have to thank everybody for this opportunity. The IRL has been fabulous to let me come here. I'm grateful to Ticket Director, the World of Outlaws, Bell, Hinchman Indy, Rockstar Paint. I'm grateful to all of those people that gave me a chance."