IPS: Kentucky: Sam Schmidt Motorsports qualifying notes

Gregg Repeats Kentucky Debut Performance Sam Schmidt Motorsports Owns Front Row for Bluegrass 100 Sparta, Ky. -- For the sixth time in nine races, Sam Schmidt Motorsports put two cars on the front row of a Menards Infiniti Pro Series race ...

Gregg Repeats Kentucky Debut Performance
Sam Schmidt Motorsports Owns Front Row for Bluegrass 100

Sparta, Ky. -- For the sixth time in nine races, Sam Schmidt Motorsports put two cars on the front row of a Menards Infiniti Pro Series race with Travis Gregg taking the pole and Jaime Camara qualifying second at the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway.

Travis Gregg ranked seventh in the combined results from the day's practice session, but had no problem reeling his fourth pole award of the year. With a lap time of 28.3462 seconds (187.962 miles per hour), Gregg put the #7 Lucas Oil Special Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry first on the qualifying grid. Camara, a 24-year-old Brazilian native living in Miami, qualified outside of the front row with a time of 28.5992 (187.962 MPH). Atlanta, Ga., native Chris Festa qualified the #19 SpacePak/CareCentric Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry seventh with a lap time of 28.8377 (184.758 MPH).

"I tell you what, I think it was all the media work I did in Dayton and Cincinnati yesterday that pushed me to the pole," joked Gregg. "I was worried about letting all those people I'd talked to down, so I knew I had to qualify on the pole to keep them from being disappointed! Seriously, my engineer and I just talked a lot about the car and how different the track felt earlier in the day from last year. We made some changes to the car and they worked great. I'm pretty happy to get the pole since I'll have so many friends and family here this weekend and because Sam Schmidt, my team owner, is going to have a lot of guests at the track for his Day At The Races program. Jaime and I got Sam a front row for his guests."

Camara had a hard time removing the smile from his face to make way for the slight bit of disappointment when he saw his teammate had bested him for the pole position.

"We did a good job adjusting the car in practice today, and I ran some really good laps. I don't like when Travis goes out to qualify after me because I always have to worry if he will be faster. Today he was, so we'll be second. It should be a good race. Kentucky is a fun track to drive," said Camara.

Festa, the 19-year-old driver who will enter his second year at Florida State University this fall, worked on some setup changes with his crew throughout practice.

"We've been making some changes to the car today to get the car to grip better and still have good speed. Obviously, we have some more things to do before race time tomorrow afternoon. We'll talk about it and work on it some more in tomorrow morning's warmup and we'll be ready for the race," explained Festa.

Owner Sam Schmidt admitted he was at least two-thirds satisfied with today's results.

"We came here knowing we had to make some improvements in our overall team performance, it looks like we've done some good, but I still want to see all three cars running well," smiled Schmidt. "It's great that Travis can come back to Kentucky, the track where he made his debut driving for me last year, and turn out the same performance in qualifying. We've got 67 laps of racing still ahead of us on Saturday and as happy as I am to win the pole, I'd still take a last place qualifying effort if it meant all three of my cars finished the race up front."

Saturday's 67-lap race begins at 3:00 p.m. (EDT), and will be televised on a tape-delayed basis at 5 p.m. (EDT), on Thursday, August 18 on ESPN2.

-ssm-

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Chris Festa , Travis Gregg , Jaime Camara