Canadian Tom Wood will return to Sam Schmidt Motorsports for the entire 2003 IRL Infiniti Pro Series season after contesting three races for the team last year.

"I am extremely excited to announce that Tom Wood will be returning for a full season in the Infiniti Pro Series," Schmidt said. "I know that he has the talent to compete for wins and the championship. I think that with the commitment to preseason testing and competing in the entire series, he will be a force to be reckoned with."

Wood, who made his Infiniti Pro Series debut at Kentucky Speedway last August, is pleased to continue his relationship with Sam Schmidt Motorsports.

"Sam has a lot of experience as a driver, and he helped me a lot last year," Wood said. "He has a lot of insight into what the cars are doing, and he's got some great people behind him. I've got a lot of confidence in those guys.

"It's going to be extremely tight racing. The cars are so evenly matched, it's going to be the little things that each team can get out of their cars that's going to make the difference."

Wood, who passed the speed phases of the IRL IndyCar Series rookie test last November at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, believes that the Infiniti Pro Series provides the perfect stepping-stone to a career in the IndyCar Series.

"I did my rookie test in Sam's IndyCar Series car, and there isn't a better series to move up to the IndyCar Series with," Wood said. "They are so similar in terms of handling. If a driver wants to run in the IndyCar Series, they've got to do this series first."

The second Infiniti Pro Series season starts March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.