Seven Menards Infiniti Pro Series drivers completed a total of 1,095 laps during testing yesterday [February 10] at the reconfigured Phoenix International Raceway.

Thiago Medeiros posted the fastest lap of the day at 156.718 mph, 22.9712 seconds in the #11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone.

"The car ran pretty well," he said. "We started to try some things, like make more mechanical changes than aero package because sometimes during a race weekend, we don't have time to set up the car and make those big changes. We're trying to set up the car for qualifying and for the race."

Rookie Jesse Mason was second fastest at 154.687 mph, 23.2728 seconds in the #3 Brian Stewart Racing Dallara/Infiniti Firestone, but his test ended early after he made contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 4. There was significant damage to the right side of his car, but Mason was uninjured.

"We were going quicker and having a pretty good day, actually. We were fighting a push all day, but we were getting better. At the end there, we took too much push out, and it kind of snapped around on me," explained Mason, "I was feeling a little bit loose and should have come in, but I just kind of drove through it. That's what happened."

Another rookie, Phil Giebler, was third quickest at 154.457 mph, 23.3074 seconds. Giebler, a former Red Bull Driving Search candidate, ran his first laps in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series in the #2 Keith Duesenburg Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone.

"It's definitely different from what I'm used to racing in Europe," commented Giebler, "This is my first time turning left all around the racetrack. It took a little bit of time to get used to it, and obviously, you don't trust the car at first. You just have to build up to it, so that was the biggest thing.

"We're running good now, and we're running consistent, which is what I wanted to do. We're making changes, and we're making progress and learning a lot, so things are heading in the right way."

The 2004 Menards Infiniti Pro Series season-opener, the Homestead 100, is scheduled for February 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.



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