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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

OCTOBER 10, 2005

 

 

Family, Friends, Surf, Sand.and Racing in California

Sam Schmidt Motorsports Primed for Season Finale'

 

With championship hopes dashed by a tough trip to The Glen, Sam Schmidt Motorsports heads into the season finale at California Speedway thinking about capping off its successful season with a win and having some fun on the 'Left Coast.'  Owner Sam Schmidt will be surrounded by friends, family and fellow Pepperdine alum when his team tries to repeat it's show of strength. When the checkered flag waves, Midwesterner Travis Gregg will head to the desert and the beach for Baja racing and surfing lessons.

 

Gregg, a 27-year-old from Camden, Ohio, drives Schmidt's #7 Lucas Oil Special. Gregg, has gained attention for his backflips in celebration of his three race wins (Miami, Texas, Kentucky), The Miami University graduate has five pole positions (Miami, Phoenix, Texas, Kentucky, Pikes Peak) and heads into the race weekend engaged in battle with Jeff Simmons for the a newly announced award for the driver that leads the most laps in the 2005 season.  Gregg leads the fight 222 laps to 173 and sits third in the series championship standings with 426 points.

 

Jaime Camara, 24, a Brazilian native residing in Miami, Fla., is fifth in the standings with 383 points.  Driving Schmidt's #1 CELG, Goias entry, Camara has three pole positions (Indianapolis, Nashville, Milwaukee), three outside pole positions (Homestead, Phoenix, Kentucky), and two wins (Indianapolis, Nashville).

 

Chris Festa, 19, of Atlanta, Ga, the youngest of Schmidt's drivers, is sixth in the series standings with 355 points.  Festa led his first Menards Infiniti Pro Series lap at Texas, where he qualified second.  His best finish this year was second at Phoenix.  He also has two third place finishes (Indianapolis road course and Texas).  The teenager drives Schmidt's #19 SpacePak, CareCentric entry and attends classes at Florida State University. 

 

Sam Schmidt Motorsports is also a means of promoting and publicizing the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation. The Foundation was created by Schmidt to help individuals overcome spinal cord injuries and other neurological disorders. Schmidt is currently recovering from serious upper spinal cord injuries suffered in a testing accident on January 6, 2000 while practicing for the season-opening Indy Racing League event at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla. Further information is available at www.samschmidt.org or (317) 236-9999.

 

Racer Magazine will auction a limited production Firestone poster to be signed by all 30 drivers that have won while driving on Firehawk tires.  The auction will be held on eBay in October with the proceeds to be split between two key Indy Racing League charities, Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation and CARA Charities.

 

Here are some thoughts from the drivers and owner heading into the California weekend:

 

SAM SCHMIDT, Owner, Sam Schmidt Motorsports:

 

"We had the pole last year and had the race won if not for a last-lap incident, so heading back to California is kind of one of those tracks that the team really wants to conquer.

"Overall, we haven't had the combined season results we were looking for at the beginning of the season, so what we want is for all of the Sam Schmidt Motorsports entries to qualify and finish well.  A good result here helps everyone get through the long winter until the season starts next year. 

"It's not the best consolation prize for being as close to repeating as series champions as we've been this season, but, honestly, it would be a great accomplishment for all three drivers to wind up in the top six in points. 

"Since I grew up in Southern California and attended Pepperdine University, I'll have lots of friends and family at the race.  It's always good to see so many familiar faces."  

 

TRAVIS GREGG, #7 Lucas Oil Special, Sam Schmidt Motorsports Entry:

 

"Being out of the points race is disappointing, but I hope to end the year on a good note at California Speedway.  My crew and the whole Sam Schmidt Motorsports team has been great all year long. I look forward to being competitive and running up front.  I'm only eight points out of second place so it would be great for the team and for me to move up in the final standings.

"After the race, I'm going to try a couple things I've never done.  I'm going with (ESPN2 pit road reporter) Cameron Steele's 'Desert Assassins' race team in their pre-run for the Baja 100 and I'm going to learn how to surf!  Obviously, we don't have any oceans or deserts in Ohio, and I've never been to Mexico - this should be a lot of fun."

 

JAIME CAMARA, #1 CELG, Goias, Sam Schmidt Motorsports Entry:

 

"I expect the weekend to go well, I think we will be competitive and hopefully will be there at the end to fight for the win. It's going to be my first race at Fontana and for what I heard it's a very nice track. This year, 2005, was my first season at Menards Infiniti Pro Series and I think it was a good season.  Now I'm thinking about 2006 season and that I'll do better in 2006 at the series."

 

CHRIS FESTA, #19 SpacePak, CareCentric, Sam Schmidt Motorsports Entry:

 

"Heading into this last race, I'm hoping for a good, strong finish.  We've had a lot of experience with the bigger ovals this year, and I'm hoping we're fighting as hard for position in California as we were in a race like Texas - every lap there was a challenge with either me running on Travis for the lead or me getting pressure from behind.  That's what I'm hoping to get at California - good, hard racing with a strong finish to take into the off season."

 

 

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

 

Richard N. (Chip) Williams, Williams Company of America, Inc.

502 E. Center Ave., Mooresville, NC   28115   (704) 660-0796   FAX:  (704) 660-0886

email:  chip.williams@mindspring.com