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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

AUGUST 28, 2005

 

Sam Schmidt Motorsports in Top Five at Infineon

Rookie Drivers Finish 5th, 6th and 12th

 

SONOMA, Calif. - Sam Schmidt Motorsports snagged another top-five finish in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series debut Sunday at Infineon Raceway.  The road course race was won by Marco Andretti, winner of all three road course races this season.

 

Chris Festa started fifth for the Sonoma 100. At the drop of the green flag, Festa and teammate Jaime Camara made some strong moves to pull up to third and fourth, respectively.  Nineteen year-old Festa, of Atlanta, Ga., finished the day in fifth place. He remains sixth in points with 304.

 

SONOMA 100 RACE MENARDS INFINITI PRO SERIES RESULTS
Pos No Driver Name Best Time Best Speed Best Lap Total Laps
1 26 Marco Andretti 1:25.1458 97.245 26 30
2 33 Wade Cunningham 1:25.1146 97.281 18 30
3 24 Jeff Simmons 1:24.6274 97.841 22 30
4 9 Nick Bussell 1:24.9705 97.446 27 30
5 19 Chris Festa 1:25.4116 96.942 26 30
6 7 Travis Gregg 1:27.0751 95.090 24 30
7 4 Marty Roth 1:27.4771 94.653 28 30
8 20 Jay Drake 1:28.9122 93.126 19 29
9 6 Jon Herb 1:27.7871 94.319 28 29
10 22 Scott Mansell 1:25.4798 96.865 19 24
11 3 Bobby Wilson 1:25.4996 96.843 21 24
12 1 Jaime Camara 1:27.6985 94.414 3 4
13 11 Scott Mayer -0.0001 0.000 0 0

 

Gregg did what he needed to do with the #7 Lucas Oil Special/Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry, keeping it on track, and advancing from his ninth-place start to a sixth-place finish.  The Camden, Ohio, driver remains second in the points chase with 378.

 

Jaime Camara, a Brazilian who now lives in Miami, Fla., started sixth, pulled to fourth, then pulled off the track on lap four with engine woes for the second week in a row.  Camara, 12th in the  #1 CELG/Goias Sam Schmidt Motorsports, dropped to fifth in the series standings with 329 points.

 

"The start of the race was good. We made up a lot of ground but over the long haul, the car just wasn't quite what I needed," said Festa, who heads back to school at Florida State University upon his return to Atlanta.

 

Gregg, needed to keep his car on track and run a clean race. He got the job done.

 

"I picked up three positions from my starting spot.  It kept us in the points chase, and we're heading to Chicagoland for our next race.  Sam Schmidt Motorsports has a strong record at that track, so it's nice to head from here into a 'known' situation where we can be go in with a lot of confidence," said Gregg.

 

Camara's day ended early when he had some mechanical trouble with his race car.

 

"At the start, I was thinking we had a good car and we could make up for our troubles last week in Colorado.  It didn't work out that way.  We had engine trouble on just the fourth lap.  It's disappointing, but it's part of racing.  We'll just be ready for Chicagoland," said Camara.

 

Sam Schmidt knows his road course program will continue to develop.

 

"We did what we needed to do in the points race, we kept the points leader within striking distance," said Schmidt.  "Travis did a good job keeping the car clean. He knew he couldn't make any big mistakes and he didn't.  All the Menards Infiniti Pro Series teams are facing the same learning curve at the road courses, and as a group, I think we're all making strong gains.  Chicagoland is next and it should be a good weekend for us.  We won the pole and the race last year, and the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation will host Day At The Races in Chicago - that's always a treat for me."

 

Sunday's 100-lap race will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on ESPN 2 at 3 p.m. (EDT), on Thursday, Sept 1.

 

The next Menards Infiniti Pro Series race is the 12th of the 14-race season. The Chicagoland 100 will be held on Sunday, Sept. 11, at Chicagoland Speedway, the 1.5-mile D-shaped oval located in Joliet, Ill.

 

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