Zetec Champion and Rookie of the Year Test Infiniti Pro Series Car in Kentucky ST. Petersburg, Fla. (October 27, 2004) - Taking their next step up the motorsports ladder, Formula Ford Zetec Champion Bobby Wilson and Formula Ford Zetec...
Zetec Champion and Rookie of the Year Test Infiniti Pro Series Car in Kentucky
ST. Petersburg, Fla. (October 27, 2004) - Taking their next step up the motorsports ladder, Formula Ford Zetec Champion Bobby Wilson and Formula Ford Zetec Championship Rookie of the Year Jason Bowles recently tested with Sam Schmidt Motorsports in a Menards Infiniti Pro Series car. The duo was part of a four-man test at Kentucky Speedway, in Sparta, Kentucky, which was evaluated not only by Sam Schmidt Motorsports, but Infiniti Pro Series technical director Butch Meyer.
Following the Cooper Tires Championship Series season-finale at Road America in August, both Wilson and Bowles began evaluating opportunities for 2005. After attending the last two Indy Racing League events and meeting with the team, the two were invited to take part in the test.
Driving the championship winning No. 11 Dallara chassis of Thiago Medeiros, Wilson and Bowles impressed all onlookers, as they displayed the skills that earned them the Zetec Championship and Rookie of the Year honors. At the conclusion of the test, Wilson and Bowles had each completed over 100 miles of trouble free testing and posted best times that would have qualified on the front-row at the Kentucky 100 in August.
"We've tested 35 people over the past two years and last Friday was the best collective group of talent we've had; it was stellar," said Team Manager Michael Crawford. "Both drivers are exceptionally talented, have the desire to learn and would be a pleasure to work with. I have no doubt that they are capable of winning races and challenging for the championship next year."
In his first full-year of Zetec Championship competition, Wilson won four races, finished on the podium nine times and finished in the top-five in all but one race en route to the championship. Wilson entered the Zetec Championship full-time, having won the prestigious 2003 Stars of Tomorrow karting championship.
"I had a blast and the car is pretty quick," said Wilson. "The team is first rate and I enjoyed working with Michael [Crawford] and Tim Neff [team engineer] and getting to know the car. I'm pumped to go to the next level. It will be pretty exciting after you add in a mix of other cars and the aerodynamic factors involved. There's a rhythm that makes it a lot of fun to drive."
The 2003 ICC Stars of Tomorrow West Coast karting champion, Bowles made his race car debut this past year in the Zetec Championship. Winning the first race of the season, Bowles captured eight podium finishes to win the Greg Moore Rookie of the Year award.
"It was quite an experience," said Bowles. "I had never driven anything quite like it before and it was a lot of fun. The team was very professional and was great to work with. Hopefully I can find the funding to race with them next year."
With the successful test, Wilson and Bowles were notified by Infiniti Pro Series Technical Director Butch Meyer that they had passed the driving portion of the Infiniti Pro Series licensing process.
Primarily an oval championship, the 2005 Infiniti Pro Series schedule includes for the first time road races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Watkins Glen International and St. Petersburg. For more information on the Menards Infiniti Pro Series, please visit www.indyracing.com/pro.