Cheever Racingıs Festa Qualifies Sixth, Bussell Eighth For Sundayıs IRL IndyPro Series Opener at Homestead

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Saturday, March 25, 2006) Chris Festa and Nick Bussell qualified their twin Cheever Racing IRL IndyPro Series Dallaras sixth and ninth, respectively, for Sundayıs season-opening Homestead 100 at Homestead Miami Speedway.

Festa, a 20-year-old from Atlanta who drove in this series last year for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, drove his #51 Formtek-sponsored entry to a fast qualifying lap of 28.7931 seconds (an average of 185.669 mph) around the 1.5-mile oval under warm and sunny conditions this afternoon. That earned him the outside-third-row starting spot for Sundayıs race.

Bussell, a 23-year-old from Grand Rapids, Mich., who drove in this series for JL West Motorsports and Vision Racing in 2005, drove the #52 Cheever Racing entry to a fast qualifying lap of 29.0047 seconds (184.315 mph) for the outside-fourth-row spot on the grid.

Later this afternoon, Festa was second-fastest and Bussell sixth-fastest in final practice.

Race time for Sundayıs Homestead 100, the prelude to the IRL IndyCar Series season-opening Indy 300, is 11:45 a.m. EST.


"Considering we qualified in race trim, I think we did pretty well being less than a tenth-and-a-half off the pole. In practice, we had an excellent race setup for when we were running lone, so thatıs the setup we put on the Formtek car for qualifying. Iım really looking forward to the race because I think weıre in great, great shape. I literally can put the car anywhere I want to on the track and feel comfortable. Thatıs been consistently the case since practice started yesterday. So this being a track that presents more than ample opportunities to pass, we should be able to move up to the front as the race wears on, provided we stay out of trouble. Thatıs the way we see it unfolding, anyway. "


"We came here with a simple plan and, so far, weıve stuck to it every step of the way. We saw no point in going all out to try and qualify up front, so weıve been working on our race package since the first lap of practice yesterday. Weıve definitely got a good race car, and weıll be starting right behind Chris (Festa), so hopefully weıll be able to move to the front together."