Chesson Wins Second Straight SPARTA Ky., Saturday, Aug. 14, 2004 -- In the Menards Infiniti Pro Series race, the Kentucky 100, rookie P.J. Chesson passed fellow rookie Leonardo Maia seven laps from the finish, and held on for his ...
Chesson Wins Second Straight
SPARTA Ky., Saturday, Aug. 14, 2004 -- In the Menards Infiniti Pro Series race, the Kentucky 100, rookie P.J. Chesson passed fellow rookie Leonardo Maia seven laps from the finish, and held on for his second consecutive victory.
Series newcomer Travis Gregg, who started from the pole, led the first 40 laps of the 67-lap race, before points leader Thiago Medeiros took the lead on Lap 41. Gregg re-assumed the lead one lap later and led until Maia passed him on Lap 59.
Chesson, who also won at Michigan on Aug. 1, took the lead for good on Lap 61 when he passed Maia, and held off Paul Dana by .0514 of a second after a restart on Lap 66. Maia finished a season-best third.
KENTUCKY 100 POST-RACE QUOTES:
P.J. CHESSON (No. 76 Mo Nunn Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): (About running on the high line) "There's some dirt up there, so I felt right at home. It was good. It was a great racecar. You have to have a good car and some good guys around you to able to run the car where I was today. I commend the guys and all the guys I was racing with. They're good racers. There was one little mistake, but other than it was a very clean race. We were inches apart at 180 mph. I'm impressed with the guys and I feel comfortable racing with them." (About second win in a row): "I didn't think we'd win one race, so to win two in a row is just unreal. It says so much about Mo Nunn Racing and all the guys who are working for me that are able to put this together. We're focused every weekend and we get the job done. We have good morale, good owners. Good everything. It's a good situation."
PAUL DANA (No. 91 Ethanol/Hemelgarn Johnson Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We actually had a run on (P.J. Chesson) at the line. He went so early on the restart that he caught us all napping. If I would have even gotten a remotely respectable restart, I think we could have won it. The Ethanol car was awesome. The Hemelgarn/Johnson guys were perfect. It was so busy out there. I got hit twice, and I can't even believe it's still rolling. It was a wild afternoon."
LEONARDO MAIA (No. 33 Skip Barber Racing School Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "I screwed up. I have to apologize to the team. It was a great race, but I was in the wrong gear when I was leading. I was the first car that was able to pass the new guy (Travis Gregg). I was happy about that. I thought we had the car to beat. The Skip Barber Racing School car was just awesome. A slight little mistake probably cost me a mile-and-hour or a half, but that's probably enough to lose a lead in the (Menards) Infiniti Pro Series."
THIAGO MEDEIROS (No. 11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We were just using teamwork. We were just working together, then, my teammate started blocking me. I got really loose and three cars passed me on the outside. He almost took me out of the race. I lifted and fell back, after that, we didn't have enough time to get back to the front."
AL UNSER (No. 2 Western Union Speed Team Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We were just running alongside Paul Dana trying to get up to the front, and he took the air from Thiago and I think that gave him a little bit of a push and we ended up touching tires, and the car ended up in the wall which is not a good thing."
PHIL GIEBLER (No. 22 Western Union Speed Team Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We've been struggling for speed all weekend. I could run with them in the draft and we had something binding us up in the corners. I had a really good race, but I think the problem that was causing us just blew up on us there."
TRAVIS GREGG (No. 5 AVS-Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We were out front pretty much most of the race. Thiago was racing me pretty tough and I had to keep it tight and I knew too much of that and my right side would slowly eat away. Then I felt a push later in the race and I couldn't keep it as low and the pack behind me was just eating up at me. Leonardo got underneath me and then Chesson came around me and I was just trying to hold on and stay safe because it was my first race and put away a top 5 finish. The guys in the back were running the draft and not pushing as hard on the bottom and saving their tires. They had better race cars at the end and were able to get around me."
ARIE LUYENDYK JR. (No. 27 Automatic Fire Spriklers Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Well we started third and had a great qualifying run. The crew put together a great car for me this weekend. We just picked up a pretty loose condition during the middle of the race and I was really battling it and then I kind of drove a high-line and no one was really taking the high-line so I slipped back. Then towards the end of the race the top-groove sort of developed and you saw a lot of guys running side-by-side that enabled me to pick up the draft of the people ahead of me and move into fourth right before the finish. I am happy because we slipped almost to last and then came back through the pack. I can't say enough for the crew who put together a great car for me. Hopefully each week we can improve and get a win before the end of the season."