The first of 14 Menards Infiniti Pro Series races of the 2005 season was held on the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway oval today and yielded plenty of on-track action. Rookie Travis Gregg led from flag to flag in the ...
The first of 14 Menards Infiniti Pro Series races of the 2005 season was held on the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway oval today and yielded plenty of on-track action.
Rookie Travis Gregg led from flag to flag in the #7 Lucas Oil Products/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone challenger to secure his first Pro Series victory over another rookie, teammate Jaime Camara, driving the #1 CELG racer.
The margin of victory was a scant 9.0713 seconds,with veteran Jon Herb completing the podium in his #6 AERCON Dallara, 6.9193 seconds behind Camara, best finish in the Racing Professionals Dallara.
As the Sam Schmidt Motorsports duo traversed the Homestead track in close company for 67 laps, rarely separating by more than half a second, the field shuffled regularly behind them.
Gregg, in only his fourth Pro Series start noted, "Jaime was behind me the whole race and I don't know if I could have held him off if he'd tried to pass me. By working together," Gregg revealed, "we were able to hold the balance of the pack behind us."
First out of the contest was Al Unser, driving the #3 Brian Stewart Racing car. Unser started eighth but had to stop due to chassis-related difficulties on the 22nd lap. While not a mechanic, Unser believed he could have had a wheel bearing problem.
On the 35th lap, P.J. Chesson and rookie Chris Festa locked wheels in the final turn with Festa coming to rest just before the start/finish line. Both drivers were examined and released without harm.
Behind the podium finishers, rookie Wade Cunningham drove his #33 Team New Zealand racer to fourth, passing 11th starter rookie Jay Drake in the #20 Vision Racing car on the last lap. Rookie Nick Bussell took sixth in his #21 JL West Motorsports Dallara from third on the grid, and Pro Series veteran Marty Roth recovered from a mid-race pit stop to finish seventh in the #4 Roth Racing car.
Mishael Abbott the first woman to compete in a Menards Infiniti Pro Series race earned eighth place in her #42 Hemelgarn Johnson Motorsports racer while veteran Jeff Simmons, who also called on the pits was the final driver still running in ninth.
The second race of the season takes place on Phoenix International Raceway's tricky mile oval on March 19th.