IPS: Fontana: Pre-race facts and quotes, schedule

WHAT: California 100, 11th race in 12-race 2004 IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series season. WHERE: California Speedway, 2-mile asphalt, D-shaped oval WHEN: 7:30 p.m. (EDT), Saturday, Oct. 2 DISTANCE: 50 laps/100 miles CARS: Dallara chassis; ...

WHAT:
California 100, 11th race in 12-race 2004 IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series season.

WHERE:
California Speedway, 2-mile asphalt, D-shaped oval

WHEN:
7:30 p.m. (EDT), Saturday, Oct. 2

DISTANCE:
50 laps/100 miles

CARS:
Dallara chassis; Infiniti V8 engines; Firestone tires

TV:
ESPN2, 3:30 p.m. (EDT), Oct. 7

<pre> SCHEDULE: (all times local; subject to change)

Friday, Oct. 1 8:15-8:45 a.m. Menards Infiniti Pro Series practice 12:45 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Menards Infiniti Pro Series practice 4:30 p.m. Menards Infiniti Pro Series qualifying

Saturday, Oct. 2 1:45-2 p.m. Menards Infiniti Pro Series warm-up 4:30 p.m. California 100 Menards Infiniti Pro Series race (50 laps/100 miles)

</pre> PRE-RACE QUOTES:

JAMES CHESSON (No. 67 Mo Nunn Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I can't wait to get back into the car in Fontana. I'm used to racing three times a weekend, every weekend, so this three week break is driving me crazy. I think it's especially difficult for me because things went as well as they did back in Chicago with our first race. While I learned a great deal there, the single biggest adjustment that I experienced was the element of drafting. It obviously played a very large factor in the outcome of the race at Chicagoland and likely will again in California. As a new team, we're still trying to figure out exactly what these cars like and don't like out on the track. Additional seat time will certainly help in that respect."

P.J. CHESSON (No. 76 Mo Nunn Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I'm excited to race at California Speedway. While I've never had the chance to visit the facility, I've heard nothing but good things about it. I love the weather out here and have taken the liberty of arriving a bit early to soak up some of the sun. The track is pretty similar to Michigan, so we should at least have a good baseline to start from. It sure would be nice to bring home a strong finish for Pioneer in their neck of the woods."

PAUL DANA (No. 91 Ethanol/Hemelgarn Johnson Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It's a shame to say that the championship is out of reach. We'll focus on finishing second, which we have a comfortable lead over third. Chicago really hurt us. We were loose all day and had to run up top instead of along the bottom. We got shuffled to the back. We let the championship slip away, but we'll regroup, learn from our mistakes and try to get back up front where we've been all year. We'll try to notch another win to go with our victory in Milwaukee."

LEONARDO MAIA (No. 33 Skip Barber Racing School Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I've never been to California Speedway before. I guess it will be similar to Michigan. We did pretty well there, we finished fourth there, so I think we'll be good in California. It's going to be another one of those tracks where you have to play it smart, and hopefully at the end, you're sort of at the right spot. It's going to be a tough race, and I just hope we can be at the front and fight for the win."

THIAGO MEDEIROS (No. 11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We're really close to the championship. We have one priority, to win the race. I don't want to share Victory Circle with anybody. I want to keep winning. That will make it easier to find a ride in the IndyCar Series next year. California is a nice track. I think there will be a lot of close racing like we had in Chicago. We'll go out Friday and try and find a good race setup and a good qualifying setup."

SAM SCHMIDT (Owner of Sam Schmidt Motorsports): "It's just been an absolutely fantastic ride. As many owners will tell you in motorsports - and drivers for that matter - it's kind of all about the people. We made a few personnel changes over the winter, and kind of just laid it all on the line, so to speak. It does take a lot of energy for me to travel and to manage the team and everything else. I just kind of came to the decision that if we weren't winning races, competing for the championship, it almost wasn't worth doing. We made some good changes. Of course, Thiago is a heck of a driver. To me, the program has finally been what it needs to be, with the proper level of testing, just the right people in place. Everything's gone remarkably smooth."

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Skip Barber , Mo Nunn