January 21, 2005

HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Travis Gregg's smile was the first indication that he was pleased with the first day of private testing in the No. 11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The second sign? A wider smile.

Gregg, who competed in three IRL Menards Infiniti Pro SeriesT events in 2004 in the No. 5 AVS-Sam Schmidt Motorports entry, was one of six drivers who turned laps on the 1.5-mile oval. He also tested Jan. 18 on the 2.21-mile road course.

"Things are going well and we're getting some good experience so we'll be ready on March 6," said Gregg, who started from the pole position in his first Menards Infiniti Pro Series race at Kentucky Speedway. "We're trying some different set-ups and what makes me comfortable in the car."

Gregg also ran laps in traffic with teammates Chris Festa and Jaime Camara, who took in the sights and sun of South Beach this week.

"We get along well, and I think we're going to have a fun time this year," said Gregg, of Camden, Ohio. "I think we're going to work well together."

Part of the lunch break for the three was devoted to oval-racing lines and the peccadilloes of the cars. Gregg was in the car that Thiago Medeiros drove to the 2004 series championship.

"I like the oval a lot; it's different," said Camara, who has a road-course racing background. "It is a very good team because I think it has the best engineers and best group to work with. I know that if I'm having problems on some track we (drivers and engineers) can exchange data. The same for the road courses we'll be racing."

Also participating in the private tests were Roth Racing owner-driver Marty Roth, James Chesson with Genoa Racing and Mishael Abbott. Her smile also told the story of her first day on the oval.

"Today has been great," said Abbott of Coral Springs, Fla., who passed her rookie test in the morning session. "I'm ready to kick some butt and win some races."

Her first opportunity is March 6 on the Homestead-Miami Speedway oval.