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Infiniti Pro Series: Cleanevent 100

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Cleanevent 100

Infiniti Pro Series: Cleanevent 100

Jaime Camara
Jeff Simmons
July 16, 2005


GLADEVILLE, TENNESSEE

THE MODERATOR: We're going to go ahead and get started. This is Jeff Simmons. This is our second place finisher today in the Infiniti Pro Series Cleanevent 100. This is Jeff's best finish of the season, I believe. You have to talk about that save, that great save that you did. Tell us about your race.

JEFF SIMMONS: Well, my car was pretty loose basically the whole race, but when we got that yellow, the car was pretty good on the short run. You know, want to try to take advantage of that. Made some good moves right at the start. Was really putting the pressure on Jaime. You know, he was kind of blocking, just moving to wherever I wanted to go on the straightaway. I got a good run. I knew he was going to try to block, but I figured I could get down inside of him, give me room. But he kind of came down. The save was I guess, you know, what can you say? You'd like to say it was all driver skill. You have to say it was a lot of luck. You know, I mean, it's just I turned into it and did everything I could and managed to save it. I don't know, nine times out of 10 maybe I would have lost it. Who knows.

THE MODERATOR: Talk about the concrete. Is that an okay track for you to drive on? Does that give you problems?

JEFF SIMMONS: Well, I think the concrete stays pretty consistent actually, even more consistent than asphalt does in terms of temperature changes and things like that. My car actually right at the end of the race there, the last five laps, my car was the best it had been the whole race. I think we were -- if there were 10 more laps, probably would have been able to get around him. But it's hard to say. On my long run earlier on, the car was just so loose. But, you know, the pavement, a little bumpier sometimes because you have the segments in it, the pieces of cement. Those little segments tend to have a ripple effect. The grip is good and I enjoy racing here.

Q. (No microphone.)

JEFF SIMMONS: I think, like I said, the car was better on the short run. It was so loose at the beginning, and for that whole first stint, that I was just hanging on. All my changes on the car I do with the weight jacker and bar pretty early on. It was really tough to make myself not push the car. If I missed my line by a foot, I knew I was in trouble every time. I'd have to really lose a little bit of time. You see my lap times were very, very consistent. Then I drop off 3/10ths of a second because I got a big wiggle down in turns one and two usually. But, you know, the car got better and better later on. When we got that yellow, it really allowed the tires to cool. I had made all my changes I could on the car with the weight jacker and with the bar pretty early on. Once you kind of get those tires sliding, they tend to have just that little extra bit of temperature in them. I think allowing them to cool balanced the car back out. That final restart, we had quite a bit of push. I think we might have knocked something out with the contact down in turn one. It would push on the first couple laps on the following restarts. But, like I said, the final five laps, the car was great.

Q. (No microphone.)

JEFF SIMMONS: Yeah, I think when they saw the attitude of our two cars and where we were on the track, you know, they thought it was going to be a big crash, threw the yellow. I guess at that point is where they make their determination. He was further along on the track than I was. Certainly, like I said, we were -- I thought that he was doing some very defensive driving and just not driving his line at all, just trying to take anything away from me when I had those good runs. But the officials didn't see it that way, so we'll take a second place.

Q. (No microphone.)

JEFF SIMMONS: A little of both. I said sorry to the team that I couldn't get them there at the end. It just took a few laps for the car to come in and for me to feel it out. We didn't get much green flag running after that contact. I had to be a little careful with the car, couldn't throw away a second place. We had already gotten away with a big one down there in turn one. You know, of course we wanted to win and I wanted to get the first win for Kenn Hardley and the whole team. But, you know, you have to take a second place. A bit fortunate that we got out of here with what was not a second-place car for the majority of that race, to get out of here with a second was pretty good.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you so much for coming in. We appreciate it. He's our winner today of the Cleanevent100, Jaime Camara. This is Jaime's second Menards Infiniti Pro Series victory. His last victory was on the oval at Indy in this past March. He won from the pole position for the second time this season. It's the 21st time in the series history that the pole winner has won the race. This is the 10th win for Sam Schmidt Motorsports. Sam is also joining us today. This is the second consecutive season that Sam Schmidt Motorsports has won at Nashville and the third consecutive season that the polesitter has won as Nashville. Jaime, congratulations. Talk to us about your day.

JAIME CAMARA: I got to tell you, it was the toughest race of my career. You know, since the beginning, the first lap, it was tough, because I had to push from the first lap to the end of the race very hard. The concrete here is very abrasive, so the tires go away really fast. I had to make a balance and save the tires and push a lot. It was really hard to do that. We had some -- I had some guys behind me that tried to make a move and they couldn't. I think I made a good race today. I was trying to be consistent the whole race. I had a good car, you know. Sam Schmidt car was very good. My engineer gave me the best advices on the track, and I could make it. I could win the race.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Jaime.

Q. (No microphone.)

JAIME CAMARA: Sam doesn't like to call it before the race, the checkered flag. I was waiting till the checkered flag just to know we won the race. It was like that in Indy when it happened almost the same way.

Q. (No microphone.)

JAIME CAMARA: Tony, he's not kind of helping me setting the car. It's just that he's giving me some advices on the track, things that can happen. He knows that things that can happen, he tells me before that so he's trying to pass me experience. But it's very hard sometimes. He gave me some advices on this track that helped a lot, about the line that I should take, what to do in certain situations, and it helped a lot.

Q. (No microphone.)

JAIME CAMARA: I was really worried about all of them. But Luyendyk, I knew that he was coming from fourth to fifth and he was fast because he came pretty quick. He was fast, man. He was behind me and he was strong. Jeff Simmons was really strong in the end of the race. I was surprised because in the end of the race, we have no tires any more. At least my tires were gone, and I had to push a lot. He was fast, man. That concerned me a lot.

Q. (No microphone.)

JAIME CAMARA: I got to tell you, it's no fun. It's hard. You know, it's hard. It's really hard to lead every lap, a lot of pressure. If you have a problem and you can't win the race, you're going to be frustrated you knew you led every lap but you couldn't win it. It would suck. But everything work out all right, I think.

Q. (No microphone.)

JAIME CAMARA: Yeah, I was pushing myself inside the car. I was like, "Man, this is mine. I'm not going to let it go."

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Congratulations.



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