Milwaukee: Sam Schmidt Motorsports preview

FREEDOM 100 WINNING SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS RIDES RECENT OVAL MOMENTUM INTO MILWAUKEE WEST ALLIS, Wis. -- After winning the Freedom 100 and placing a car in 13th position in the Indianapolis 500, just five days later, Sam Schmidt Motorsports...

FREEDOM 100 WINNING SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS RIDES RECENT OVAL MOMENTUM INTO MILWAUKEE

WEST ALLIS, Wis. -- After winning the Freedom 100 and placing a car in 13th position in the Indianapolis 500, just five days later, Sam Schmidt Motorsports has arrived and setup shop at the famed Milwaukee Mile for this weekend's Husar's House of Fine Diamonds 100. The event can be seen live via indycar.com on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. EDT. The VERSUS tape-delay can be seen on Monday, June 1st, at 4 p.m. EDT.

Wade Cunningham looks to continue hot streak on ovals.

After a slow start to the 2009 campaign, Wade Cunningham has been the hottest driver the Firestone Indy Lights having earned two poles, a race win, and a second-place result in the season's two oval races. The most experienced driver in the field looks to continue that momentum in Milwaukee where he has also enjoyed success having earned a second place result in 2005 and 2006. Also in 2006, he won the pole with a track record that still stands today (147.783 mph).

James Hinchcliffe and Gustavo Yacaman look to get season back on track.

With two oval races in the books for 2009, neither James Hinchcliffe nor Gustavo Yacaman have had a solid results to speak of. Engines woes plagued Hinchcliffe in qualifying and race at both Kansas and Indy, whilst incidents have taken Yacaman out prematurely in both races. Both drivers tested well at Milwaukee a couple of weeks ago and are very determined to put up their first solid oval results this weekend.

Sam Schmidt Motorsports a dominate force at Milwaukee.

Sam Schmidt Motorsports returns to a track this weekend where the team has enjoyed much success. In the last three races at the Milwaukee Mile, SSM drivers have won twice (Jaime Camara in 2006, Alex Lloyd in 2007) and won three poles in five years. If previous history and a recent test gives any indication, all three SSM cars look to be contenders come race day.

#7 HINCHTOWN.com/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver James Hinchcliffe

Best finish of 2009 is 3rd (St. Pete, Long Beach). Best start of 2009 is 2nd (Long Beach).
Enters Milwaukee sixth in points.
Podium finisher 12 times in Atlantic Series, including two wins and six poles.

"Our test day at Milwaukee provided us with some very valuable experience. We did really well at the test so I'm looking forward to getting back there for the race. It's a very unique place. It's probably the only oval we go to that's not easy flat all the way around. You really have to drive and hustle the car around there. Like I said, we had a good test there, we were pretty strong, and we're just looking to put Indy behind us and go to the mile and have a great result."

#11 LUCAS OIL/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver Wade Cunningham


Best finish of 2009 is 1st (Indianapolis). Best start of 2009 is 1st (Kansas, Indianapolis).
Enters Milwaukee fifth in points.
Former Firestone Indy Lights Champion (2005); Two-time Freedom 100 winner ('06, '09).

"We're very confident coming into Milwaukee. We had a great result at Indy. It wasn't like the race just came to us. We had to work for and earn everything. It's great to come to a track where you have to drive the car every second of every lap. We had a really good test here and showed a very strong race pace. I'm excited to be here with the Sam Schmidt team with a strong car underneath me, and I'm looking to move up in the points standings. I'm also really confident because I won the pole here in 2006 and broke the track record for our series, which still stands. With the right equipment, we know we're going to be competing for the pole and the win again."

Keys to the race: "Track position here is very important, especially if there's long green stints. If you're running in the 5th, 6th, 7th area, it's easy to fall a lap down if the leader is running a strong pace and you're stuck in traffic. Obviously, that's the first concern. The length of the race itself is key. Over 100 laps, the tires really go off, even more so than at a place like Indianapolis. As a driver, you have to be conscious about the decisions you make behind the wheel, and obviously, you have to make it through 100 laps which is easier said than done."

#44 CREPES & WAFFLES/TUVACOL/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver Gustavo Yacaman

Best finish of 2009 is 9th (St. Pete, Long Beach). Best start of 2009 is 8th (St. Pete).
Enters Milwaukee 13th in points.
Youngest driver in Firestone Indy Lights field.

"My expectation this weekend is above all, finish my first oval race. That would be great for us first and foremost. So, that's my main focus. Then, it's all about qualifying here. We were fast here when we tested so I think with a good qualifying effort and a smart race, we can finish in the top-five for sure."

Team Owner, Sam Schmidt Motorsports, Sam Schmidt
"Milwaukee has been almost as good a track to Sam Schmidt Motorsports as the Nashville Superspeedway. We had dominating performances in 2004, 2006, and 2007, so we hope to continue the momentum. This is the only "flat" oval we go to and the car changes substantially over 100 laps, so the key is being able to anticipate what the car will do and have a compromise. There is no way it could be perfect the entire race, so hopefully you can make it more bearable than anyone else. The driver in me used to love these types of tracks and the challenges they create. We dug a pretty good hole to start the season, so we need all of the momentum we can get and maintain right now."

-credit: ssm

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Series INDYLIGHTS