IPS: Watkins Glen: Sam Schmidt Motorsports preview

Truly American, Enjoyable Racing at The Glen Sam Schmidt Excited about Return to Watkins Glen Sam Schmidt Motorsports will arrive at Watkins Glen International this weekend as part of the Menards Infiniti Pro Series' inaugural visit to "The...

Truly American, Enjoyable Racing at The Glen
Sam Schmidt Excited about Return to Watkins Glen

Sam Schmidt Motorsports will arrive at Watkins Glen International this weekend as part of the Menards Infiniti Pro Series' inaugural visit to "The Glen." Team owner Sam Schmidt has driven in races at the famous upstate New York track and is excited to share the experience with his rookie drivers.

Travis Gregg, a 27-year-old from Camden, Ohio, drives Schmidt's #7 Lucas Oil Special. Gregg, who has gained attention for his backflips in celebration of his three race wins (Miami, Texas, Kentucky), has five pole positions (Miami, Phoenix, Texas, Kentucky, Pikes Peak) and has led 222 laps in the MIPS this season. Gregg is second in the championship standings with 408 points, only 23 points behind the leader. He has been a contender in the title chase throughout the season - it has come down to the last two races to settle the score.

Jaime Camara, 24, a Brazilian native residing in Miami, Fla., is fifth in the standings with 357 points. Driving Schmidt's #1 CELG, Goias entry, Camara has three pole positions (Indianapolis, Nashville, Milwaukee), three outside pole positions (Homestead, Phoenix, Kentucky) and two wins (Indianapolis, Nashville).

Chris Festa, 19, of Atlanta, Ga, the youngest of Schmidt's drivers, is sixth in the series standings with 323 points. Festa led his first MIPS lap at Texas, where he qualified second. His best finish this year was second at Phoenix. He also has two third place finishes (Indianapolis road course and Texas). The teenager drives Schmidt's #19 SpacePak, CareCentric entry and attends classes at Florida State University.

Sam Schmidt Motorsports is also a means of promoting and publicizing the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation. The Foundation was created by Schmidt to help individuals overcome spinal cord injuries and other neurological disorders. Schmidt is currently recovering from serious upper spinal cord injuries suffered in a testing accident on January 6, 2000 while practicing for the season-opening Indy Racing League event at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla. Further information is available at www.samschmidt.org or (317) 236-9999

Racer Magazine announced they will auction a limited production Firestone poster to be signed by all 30 drivers who have won while driving on Firehawk tires. The auction will be held on eBay in October with the proceeds to be split between two key Indy Racing League charities, Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation and CARA Charities.

Here are some thoughts from the drivers and owner heading into the Watkins Glen weekend:

SAM SCHMIDT, Owner, Sam Schmidt Motorsports:

"When I hear the words 'Watkins Glen', my reaction is simple - truly a classic American road course. I enjoyed racing there in the '90's and can't wait to go back with the IndyCars. Obviously, this will be a critical race for Travis to succeed and continue gaining ground on Wade (Cunningham, series point leader). For all our guys, I'm hoping it's a fun, smooth weekend."

TRAVIS GREGG, #7 Lucas Oil Special, Sam Schmidt Motorsports Entry:

"This will be my first trip to The Glen - I've watched a lot of races from the track on TV. For me, honestly, the primary focus has to be points. All season we've been in a close battle for the championship - leading, then trailing, then leading, then trailing. In July we lost some ground but we've been able to pick up some points lately. I know I need to have a clean race, and use what I've learned on the other road races this year."

JAIME CAMARA, #1 CELG, Goias, Sam Schmidt Motorsports Entry:

"For the team and me and, I think, for many of the Pro Series drivers, this will be our first experience with the Watkins Glen circuit. It will be a nice experience to learn another new track and I hope I can get the most of it this weekend. I'm counting on my previous experience on road courses and also on my team. I think it will be great to be on a road course again just a few weeks after Sonoma."

CHRIS FESTA, #19 SpacePak, CareCentric, Sam Schmidt Motorsports Entry:

"Watkins Glen is a very historic track in the U.S. so it will be a great thing for IndyCar racing to return to the track. It's a very fast track, so aero balance is important as well as pushing the car as hard as possible to get the most speed out of it. High speed tracks are always a lot of fun to drive and will challenge us in making passes. I am really excited to be back on a road course and to race on a track as historic as Watkins Glen."

-ssm-

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