Having taken victory in two of the final three races in the Indy Pro Series last season, Richard Antinucci has his sights firmly set on securing the top seat in the series for the 2008 campaign.

Antinucci contested the road course events for Cheever Racing during 2007 and took victory at Mid-Ohio and Infineon Raceway and successfully passed his IPS oval rookie test with Sam Schmidt Motorsports at Kentucky Speedway back in November.

Now, the American is focused on securing a race seat for the coming campaign, with his focus very much on taking a drive that would allow him to fight for the title, with a seat at Sam Schmidt - title winners for the past two seasons with Jay Howard and Alex Lloyd - likely to be the most appealing option.

"I had great results in the second-half of the past season," he said. "I've collected two wins and a second place. I am not one to underestimate my 2007, but the move to IRL is something that you can't do with a thin resume.

"I think that racing-wise I have a thick resume, but as far as oval mileage is concerned I can better develop my skills there with some Indy Pro Series seasoning. Therefore my main goal for 2008 has been to land one of the IPS series' top seats, I could also say the top seat, something that I am quietly working at for a while and that I am confident will be finalised soon. If this will happen this week it would make the ultimate birthday gift, as next Saturday I'll be 27!

"I am quite confident of the path I am taking and I am sure this is the best way to prepare myself to be a IRL driver later on."

Antinucci also denied that a deal was in place for him to contest any races in the IndyCar Series this season, stating that the time wasn't right for him to consider making the step up.

"Every now and then I was getting wind that I had one IRL deal all wrapped up," he said. "Some rumours were hinting at a part-time season, some even at a full-time job.

"This somehow may be deemed flattering, but I have to set this straight : this is not going to happen - not in 2008, anyway."



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