Leading Infiniti Pro Series team Sam Schmidt Motorsports has announced that veteran Taylor Fletcher will drive the #9 Olive Crest Foundation entry for the remainder of the 2003 IPS season beginning with the next event at California Speedway next weekend.

Fletcher first raced for SSM in place of the injured Tom Wood last weekend in Chicagoland and he was delighted with extending his deal.

"I am very excited about this opportunity to drive for Sam Schmidt Motorsports in my hometown. It's great to be a part of this series and I look forward to working with the team to build upon the progress we made in Chicago. I appreciate their confidence in me and will try my best to represent the team and the series well."

"I have known Taylor for some time and I definitely feel we have some unfinished business from Chicago," said team boss Schmidt. "He improved in every session last weekend and the car was extremely fast in the race. I have no doubt he would have achieved a top 5 finish in his first outing if we had not suffered gear box problems"

Travelling at these speeds is not a new experience for the California native. Taylor began his career at 10 years old racing go-karts and later progressed through the Skip Barber Racing School format. From 1995 to 2000, he has competed in several open wheel divisions including Pro Formula Mazda and Toyota Atlantics, achieving a second place in national divisional point standings as well as several road course track records on the west coast.

In 2001, he graduated to the Pan American Indy Car Series, whose races included a combination of ovals and road courses in both Latin America and the United States.