IPS: Texas II: Season finale pre-race notes, quotes

WHAT: Texas 100, 12th race in 12-race 2004 IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series season. WHERE: Texas Motor Speedway, 1.5-mile asphalt oval WHEN: 5 p.m. (EDT), Saturday, Oct. 16 DISTANCE: 67 laps/100 miles CARS: Dallara chassis; Infiniti V8 ...

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

WHERE:
Texas Motor Speedway, 1.5-mile asphalt oval

WHEN:
5 p.m. (EDT), Saturday, Oct. 16

DISTANCE:
67 laps/100 miles

CARS:
Dallara chassis; Infiniti V8 engines; Firestone tires

TV:
ESPN2, 4 p.m. (EDT), Oct. 17

SCHEDULE: (all times local; subject to change)

Friday, Oct. 15
11:40 a.m.-12:10 p.m. -- Menards Infiniti Pro Series practice
3:45 p.m.-4:15 p.m. -- Menards Infiniti Pro Series practice
5:45 p.m. -- Menards Infiniti Pro Series qualifying

Saturday, Oct. 16
10:30-10:45 a.m. -- Menards Infiniti Pro Series warm-up
4 p.m. -- Texas 100 Menards Infiniti Pro Series race (67 laps/100 miles)

PRE-RACE QUOTES:

JAMES CHESSON (No. 67 Mo Nunn Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Honestly, the last several days have been very relaxing. The big win in Fontana finally sunk in, and it is a great feeling. People who I didn't even know followed racing have been congratulating me on the victory. While I've enjoyed other solid wins before, the California race is probably at the top of the list. Between it being only our second race as a team, the glamour of California Speedway, the great battle at the end, and my brother (P.J.) taking second, it would certainly be hard to top it. We had a very productive series of meetings this week in preparation for the Texas race, and I'm excited to get back into the Pioneer car. I've never raced on the Texas Motor Speedway before, but am anticipating another strong team effort and result. The high banking should provide for some excitement, and hopefully P.J. can finish strong and hold onto third place in the points race."

P.J. CHESSON (No. 76 Mo Nunn Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I think we're all finally getting over the exciting finish in California. It has been over 15 years since my brother (James) and I finished 1-2 so it was naturally a big day for all of us. As we head to Texas for the big finale, we're hoping to carry the momentum and finish the season strong. Even though we started things off slow in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series back in Kansas City, we enter the race on Saturday third in points, and hopefully we can maintain our ground. Texas Motor Speedway will be the steepest banked oval we visit all year, and it should provide for some good passing and racing. We've made a solid charge in a short period of time due in large part to the team's strength and determination. I am so appreciative of everything that my father, Kathryn (Nunn) and the guys have done for me this year."

PAUL DANA (No. 91 Ethanol/Hemelgarn Johnson Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We're solidly in second place which is a bright spot, but we're living on what we did in the middle of the season. I want more wins. We've shown we can do it. I didn't run Texas last year, so this will be a new track for me. I saw the tape of last year's race, and I'm sure it'll be crazy out there. We want to get back on track, get our consistency back. Our qualifying hasn't fallen off, but our race performance has. We want to turn in another strong performance and get to the end-of-year banquet."

RYAN HAMPTON (No. 3 Bush-Cheney '04 Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I'm very excited to get back into a race car. It's kind of like reverse engineering going from drifting back into a race car. I had a strong run at Texas in 2002 (moving up from 12th to third), and I think that definitely had an influence on Brian (Stewart) getting me back into the car. There will be a lot of close racing, and it comes down to how you play your cards in traffic, how you work with people."

ARIE LUYENDYK (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc. Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I've really got my work cut out for me if I'm going to pass P.J. (Chesson) for third in the points. I think it would've been a different story if we would've won at California. I have a lot of confidence in my crew. They've given me an awesome car the last few races, and it keeps getting better. If the car is anything like it was in California, we'll be in good shape. The last two years at Texas, I've been able to run up front, so I expect to do so again. It's a really fun place to race."

LEONARDO MAIA (No. 33 Skip Barber Racing School Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I think it'll be an awesome race. It will be a little tougher than some of the other ones. I think it will be real hard to pass. Like Kentucky, it will be exciting, but it will be tough to pass. I did my rookie test at Texas, so at least it's a track I've been to before and know a little bit about. It's a fast track with a lot of banking. I think in qualifying everyone will be right there, so I think the race will be real close, some exciting racing."

THIAGO MEDEIROS (No. 11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I have really good memories from Texas Motor Speedway. It is a really nice track that allows us to run nose to tail - really close pack of cars. Two- or three-wide, there is no problem at all to do that at that track because the asphalt and the grip level. Overall, it's really good. It's a special place where I got my first win in the series. So for sure, I will be hunting to keep my title and not let anybody else win this race because it is a special place for me."

-irl-

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