APRIL 3, 2005


Travis Gregg Back To Pro Series Points Lead


Schmidt Motorsports teams 6th, 8th, 13th at St. Pete


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The setting was pristine and the weather gorgeous but it was a battle of survival inside the gates and on the track of Sunday's Menards Infiniti Pro Series portion of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg - the first street race in IRL history.


When the smoke cleared, Travis Gregg and his #7 Lucas Oil Special had regained the lead in the series points standings, while teammates Chris Festa and Jaime Camara maintained slots in the top six. Gregg has 110 points, and leads second place Wade Cunningham, who has 107. Previous leader Jon Herb fell to third with 106, followed by Nick Bussell, 93.


Festa is fifth with 84 and Camara sixth with 76.


While the series standings aren't too bad, Sunday's race was a mixture of ups and downs. For the three Sam Schmidt Motorsports entries, each portion of Sunday's race saw a car involved. Jaime Camara was caught up in a first-turn crash on the first lap. Chris Festa was involved in a spin on the 12th lap of the 40-lap race. And Gregg, a native of Camden, Ohio, held on for a solid sixth-place finish in the race.


Marco Andretti won the race.


"It was a lot of fun but that almost wore me out," smiled Gregg after the race. "It's more of a challenge mentally than it is physically. A 14-turn street course is just going to keep you pretty busy all day long."


Festa, a 19-year-old Atlantan who is a freshman at Florida State University driving Schmidt's #19 SpacePark/CareCentric entry, fought back from a Lap 12 spin to finish eighth. The Atlanta, Ga., native was running third and making a bid for second when he was involved in a Turn Four spin. He lost a lap and fell to 11th, but was able to fight his way back to the eighth-place finish. Festa was turning laps with the leaders the latter portion of the race.


"We did what we could do," Festa said. "We could run with just about anybody out there towards the end of the race, and we had the car about as good as it had been since Saturday morning."


Camara, a Brazilian native living in Miami had high hopes for his #1 CELG/Goais entry at the beginning of the day,  but was caught up in a first-turn crash in front of him. The damage was too extensive for Camara to continue.


"It was pretty wild at the start, and the cars up front slowed down a lot sooner than they had been because of that," Camara said. "A car ended up parked in front of me, and there was just nowhere to go."


Sunday's Grand Prix was televised by ESPN-2 and will run on the network, Friday, April 8, at 3 p.m. Eastern.


The next Menards Infiniti Pro Series race is at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, Friday, May 27.



FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:  Williams Company of America, Inc. (704) 660-0796