IPS: Sears Point I/II: Sam Schmidt Motorsports preview

SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS INFINEON RACEWAY PREVIEW SONOMA, Calif. -- Alex Lloyd, Ryan Justice, and Logan Gomez enter this weekend's Indy Pro Series races at the Infineon Raceway with a unified theme in mind -- a weekend of returns. For ...

SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS INFINEON RACEWAY PREVIEW

SONOMA, Calif. -- Alex Lloyd, Ryan Justice, and Logan Gomez enter this weekend's Indy Pro Series races at the Infineon Raceway with a unified theme in mind -- a weekend of returns.

For Lloyd, he returns to this track as defending champion. In the 2006 double-header, he finished second in the first race and followed it up the next day with a win.

Should he win a race this weekend, he'll clinch his first Indy Pro Series championship.

For Ryan Justice, this weekend marks his first time returning to a track in which he's already raced an Indy Pro Series car. This is the track he made his debut at last year with Sam Schmidt Motorsports.

He finished eighth in both races at the track.

Meanwhile, Logan Gomez has been eagerly anticipating returning to a road course given the lessons he and his team learned while running at Mid-Ohio.

Though the results didn't show it, he and his team feel as if they turned a corner and expect to keep pace with the front-runners on non-oval races from now on.

Finally, this weekend marks the possibility for a very special return -- the right to hold the Indy Pro Series Drivers' and Car Owners' Championship trophies.

The first practice session takes place on Friday afternoon at 12:15. Qualifying will be a couple of hours later at 3:15. The first race will be Saturday at 11:45 a.m. The second race will be on Sunday morning at 10:20. (Note: All times listed above are in the pacific daylight time zone.)

All sessions can be viewed live on indycar.com. A tape-delayed broadcast will be on ESPN2 on August 31st at 5:30 p.m.edt.

QUOTES:

#7 LUCAS OIL/Isilon Systems Driver Alex Lloyd

"We've been fortunate that we've had a big lead from the start of the championship, and we've not had any pressure on us, really. Like I said, we had two bad races where we had some problems, but nobody grabbed the bull by the horns and took the fight to us, so we've still got a pretty big lead, and it's one of those things where we know if we have two 10th place finishes, that may be enough to come away with the championship. So we're going in with the aim and ambition of winning both races and certainly coming away with at least one win. That's the way I've been all year is trying to win the race, and if we keep winning races and win more than everybody else out there, then the championship is likely to follow, and that's the same mentality I've got here. We'll go there, do our job, put ourselves in a position to win races, and hopefully we will pick up a win this weekend; if we do that, the championship will be ours. We're still taking it race by race and trying to get as many wins as we can."

#23 Isilon System/FlaCondos.net Driver Logan Gomez

"This is a new track for me heading into California. I've been really looking forward to a road course race since Mid-Ohio. If we start where we ended there, it will be a good starting point for us. I haven't had any problems with physical stamina at any race this year. As far as other people, I think some people might have trouble. Being a double-header weekend, it's a lot of driving, and I think that might be a problem for some people. For me, not really. I'm looking forward to a good run."

#38 LifeLock/LUCAS OIL Driver Ryan Justice

"I really love this track. I think now that I'm getting better and better each time we run on a road course, it should be a fun weekend, if anything, for me. We definitely approach each race weekend with the same mindset. We're here to do a good job and try to win. I definitely like this place. Qualifying is going to be real important because it's not the best track for passing, but we'll keep our heads down and see if we can't get it done."

-credit: ssm

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Alex Lloyd , Ryan Justice , Logan Gomez