IPS: Travis Gregg tops practice at Homestead

Sam Schmidt Motorsports returned to its 2004 championship-winning form on Friday by taking the top three spots in Menards Infinti Pro Series practice at the 2005 season-opening Homestead-Miami 100 at Homestead Miami Speedway. Travis Gregg, who...

Sam Schmidt Motorsports returned to its 2004 championship-winning form on Friday by taking the top three spots in Menards Infinti Pro Series practice at the 2005 season-opening Homestead-Miami 100 at Homestead Miami Speedway.

Travis Gregg, who returned to Sam Schmidt Motorsports after running three races with the team last year, set the fastest lap of the day, averaging 188.149 mph around the 1.5-mile high banked oval.

Gregg was fastest in both practice sessions, turning a lap at 187.826 mph in the morning session. "We weren't trying to get the fastest speeds out there," said Gregg. "What we wanted to do was get a good setup. We didn't work too much on qualifying. It just turned out that we were the quickest."

Jaime Camara joined Sam Schmidt Motorsports after completing several successful tests for the team. Camara was second fastest in both sessions, with his best lap of 187.161 mph set in the second session. "The day was good for us, but we were trying different setups for the race," said Camara. "They were all very good, but I think our concern is qualifying. It's a different setup and I think we have to do a good job to start up front."

Camara will have help in that department with Tim Neff engineering his car. Neff was instrumental in providing Thiago Medeiros with a car good enough to win the 2004 championship.

Chris Festa, who came to the team after competing in the Toyota Atlantic Series was third to round out a perfect day for the team. Festa trimmed a tenth of second from his run in the morning session, posting a lap at 186.780 mph in the second session, narrowly edging Nick Bussell's best lap from the first session by four-hundredths of a second. Bussell ended the day fourth overall.

"We just wanted to work on our race setup during the first session and see how the car worked in dirty air," Festa said. "Unfortunately, we didn't get much of a chance to run in dirty air. My teammates did get to run in dirty air, so we can take the information from them." Our second session was, "more of a qualifying run. We learned a lot about the car so we should be good for qualifying tomorrow."

Marty Roth finished the day rounding out the top five with a lap at 186.348 mph.

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Marty Roth , Nick Bussell , Chris Festa , Travis Gregg , Jaime Camara , Thiago Medeiros