Rookie Gregg Claims Pole For First Race SPARTA, Ky., Friday, Aug. 13, 2004 -- Travis Gregg, making his debut not only in the No. 5 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone but in the IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series^Ã™, won the pole ...
Rookie Gregg Claims Pole For First Race
SPARTA, Ky., Friday, Aug. 13, 2004 -- Travis Gregg, making his debut not only in the No. 5 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone but in the IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series^Ù, won the pole position for the Aug. 14 Kentucky 100 with a fast lap of 190.398 mph on the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway tri-oval.
The pole position was exchanged between six of the first eight drivers to qualify. Gregg, eighth in the qualifying line, knocked Arie Luyendyk Jr. off the pole. Luyendyk, who moved from the No. 5 entry to the No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers Inc. car this week, had a fast lap of 189.024 mph.
Gregg's teammate, Menards Infiniti Pro Series points leader Thiago Medeiros, then bumped Luyendyk off the front row with a fast lap of 189.221 mph. It will be the second front-row start for Sam Schmidt Motorsports cars this season.
The field is separated by 0.8301 of a second -- the second-closest in Series history (0.7878 here last year was the closest). Medeiros, who has five pole starting positions driving the No. 11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry, will start second for the first time this season.
TRAVIS GREGG (No. 5 AVS-Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "I was trying come here today, stay out of trouble and have fun. Turns out to be a lot better than that. I can't say anything better about the car. Blair (Pershbacher), the engineer, and J.R. (chief mechanic John Roof) did a great job on the setup and we had a great car all day. We were fast, and we just made it quicker as the day went on." (About starting the Kentucky 100 from pole position): "I've had poles in go-karts, but we'll talk with (team owner) Sam (Schmidt) about race strategy. I don't know. I'm speechless right now."
THIAGO MEDEIROS (No. 11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "We were stronger in the draft than by ourselves. We found a little problem with the engine, so we tried to fix that. We'll see what we can do tomorrow. It's a long race, and I have more experience, so we'll see how that goes. (About performance of teammate Travis Gregg): "It was really good. He got the pole for his first-ever race. He's raced ovals, but they were dirt tracks, so it was really good for him."
ARIE LUYENDYK JR. (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers Inc. Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "We're starting third, which is where our goal was to be. Our goal was to be in the top-three for qualifying and we accomplished that. The car is really good. I'm happy for the crew. It's a little disappointing to see the No. 5 up front, but hopefully we can change that when it comes race time. (Are you happy with the move to AFS Racing?): "It was a good move. It's a fresh start. The car was good right off the bat. I think we'll be good for the race, and I'm in the car for the rest of the season, so I'm looking forward to Pikes Peak and all the other races coming up."
P.J. CHESSON (No. 76 Mo Nunn Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We made a lot of progress through the first two practice sessions, but unfortunately had too much downforce in the car for our qualifying run. We definitely have a good race car. I just wish we were further up on the grid for the race tomorrow."