The 100 Mile race gets under way with two practice sessions on Friday, July 30th. The race is on Sunday August 1st at 12:30 pm. Next day television coverage is slated for 4pm Monday on ESPN2.
The race got off to a great start for Brad and the #64. The opening laps saw a valiant lap-after-lap side-by-side battle for second spot between Pollard and eventual winner Paul Dana (above) as SSM teammate Thiago Meideros began taking command of the lead.
Pollard remained in third place until Thiago had a front wheel bearing take him out of the lead and out of the race. Pollard and the #64 were running in second with the rest of the pack closing on him fast. Brad Pollard's career best MIPS finish came to a screeching halt as he spun exiting Turn 4 on Lap 97 and slid to a stop against the attenuator at the end of pit road. Jesse Mason, who started on the front row was following Pollard and lost control in the same spot. The car spun and made contact with the outside wall on the frontstretch.
Pollard ended up in fifth place overall as the race finished under the yellow flag. Paul Dana was declared the winner.
It was a combination of tires, track conditions, wind and me pushing it too hard out of four to stay ahead of Jesse with only three laps to go. I ran hard into turn 3 and "pushed" up in the gray, then over slowed the car to get back into the groove, but needed to accelerate hard to get a good run out onto the main straight. I didn't have enough tire to save me and the wind helped a little too.
Brad Pollard qualified the #64 fourth fastest for the Inaugural Milwaukee 100 on his first of what was scheduled two lap attempts. Pollard spun the #64 on his second lap but made no contact with anything and completed the lap. Pollard's first lap time was 25.5884 seconds at an average speed of 142.799 mph. The speed on Pollard's qualifying lap was his fastest of the weekend thus far. Brad was just 0.7790 of a second slower than teammate Thiago Meideros who qualified for the pole position. The fourth place starting position is Pollard's personal best so far this season.
The Milwaukee 100 is the sixth race in the 12-race 2004 IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series™ season. The webcast (not video) can be seen here starting at 1:00 PM (EDT) and the same day coverage of the race will be telecast on ESPN2, 3 p.m. (EDT), July 25.
In the third practice session Pollard was the 4th fastest of the group in the #64. Brad ran a total of 17 laps in the July 24th practice session with his best lap speed of 140.960 mph on his 16th circuit.
July 23 PM - In the afternoon session Pollard stepped it up with a 138.435 mph to be the 4th fastest of the session in the #64.
July 23 AM - Pollard and the #64 started the day as only the eighth fastest car at 135.845 mph. The team took the car back to the garages and worked on it for the afternoon session.
It has been over 30 years since the Pollard family has competed in a race at the famed Milwaukee Mile. The Milwaukee Mile is the site of Art Pollard's first Indy Car triumph in 1969. For STP & Andy Granatelli it was quite a week, with Mario Andretti winning the Indy 500 and Art Pollard taking the STP colors to victory a week later at Milwaukee!
Brad Pollard will be racing the #64 on July 25th, with practice beginning on Friday the 23rd. Hopefully he can follow in the footsteps of cousin Art's which lead to victory lane.
After qualifying eighth for the race at Nashville. Brad's day coasted to a stop on the backstretch on the 61st lap. Apparently the loss of power was due to a fuel pressure problem. Pollard was towed back to the pits after bringing out the yellow flag for the tow in.
"We think we lost fuel pressure. We're not exactly sure what it was, but the car just died on the restart. We can't say enough about the Sam Schmidt Motorsports team. We really had a strong run going. We thought we had fourth place pretty easy because we were closing in on the guy, but I think it was a fuel-pressure problem. We will go back and figure it out, get back next week and get after it."
Although it was a dismal race for Pollard, he did move up one position in the 2004 MIPS Point standings and is now 6th in the points.
Even though I had very limited time in the car at Kansas, the new team performed awesome and I learned a ton. I think we're going to start doing better now. I am really looking forward to the race this weekend at Nashville.
Pollard will again drive the #64 in the Cleanevent 100 on Saturday, July 17, 2004 at Nashville Superspeedway. Let's hope that it truly is a "Clean" event and Pollard can finish on the podium if not in the winner's circle!
Brad Pollard, driving a red & white #64 back-up car of the Sam Schmidt Motorsports team, finished in fifth place and on the lead lap with teammate and winner Thiago Medeiros on July 3rd at Kansas Speedway. There was a close call for Brad when Sprint Car driver P.J. Chesson spun directly in front of him.
"Chesson spun right in front of me, I saw a small window between him and the wall and dove through; Billy tried to follow me, but the hole closed. Sorry for Billy Roe"
Pollard remains 7th in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series Points.
The number 64 is the same number car Brad's cousin Art Pollard last drove at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Pollard competed in the final two events of the 2003 season with Sam Schmidt Motorsports, but began this season driving for Kenn Hardley Racing. He finished fifth at Homestead-Miami and recorded 11th-place finishes at Phoenix and Indianapolis.
The relationship with Sam Schmidt Motorsports will allow Pollard to team with Thiago Medeiros and Arie Luyendyk Jr., who rank first and third, respectively, in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series points standings.
“Kenn Hardley runs a great organization with quality people and was a great owner to work with and drive for,” Pollard said. “As I learn at this new level, I struggled to communicate exactly how I needed the car to be set up to go fast.
“I tested with Sam Schmidt Motorsports last year, and had a great working chemistry with his team. We approached Sam and he agreed to run me the remainder of this year and to help me learn to better communicate with the team. I’m also very excited about the opportunity to drive with guys like Thiago and Arie, just as I was to drive with Billy Roe.”
Pollard, who was the 2002 Southwest Formula Mazda Rookie of the Year, will also draw upon Schmidt’s experience as a former driver and owner in the IRL IndyCar Series® as he strives for that level.
“Sam will be a tremendous resource as I learn to communicate with the team and can provide a smooth transition for me when I make the step up to the IndyCar Series,” Pollard said.
"For me it's about getting used to the new car and a new track. Getting used to the way (Sam Schmidt Motorsports) set the cars up, and understanding how that is and trying to figure out how I can make it quicker. We purposely didn't get into the tow hoping we'd get more time. Then we ran out of time when the rain started, so obviously, if we could have gotten into the tow I think we could have gotten a pretty good lap time. The car is really nice. The Sam Schmidt Motorsports team has prepared it on a very short timeframe, and I just can't be happier with what they've done, and that they've allowed me to come back and work with the team and learn from the guys that are running so quick in the series. I'm very thankful."
"Just Al" as the third generation driver likes to be called is the grandson of Indy 500 legend Al Unser Sr. and son of two-time Indy 500 champion "Lil' Al" Unser Jr. "Just Al" will be competing in his first MIPS race this weekend in Kansas. Brad Pollard, currently seventh in points, will also be competing in the #64 XBOX Special. The last time these two famous last names were on the track for an Indy Car race was in 1973. In the days of old, Brad's cousin Art and "Just Al's" grandpa used to battle it out week after week. The more things change, the more they remain the same.
Brad Pollard was looking for speed at the MIPS open test at Milwaukee on Tuesday 6/15. In doing so he ended up finding something he was not looking for! That was the end of the wall between the track and the pits!
This was the first incident of the season for the rookie driver, and he was happy to learn where the limit is on a test day, rather than on raceday, where it could possibly injure a competitor and lose valuable series points. At 11:47 a.m. the XBOX #24 driven by Pollard did a quarter spin on the exit to Turn 4 and made contact with the attenuator at the end of pit wall. There is damage to the right front of the car. Pollard climbed from the car without assistance from the Delphi IRL Safety Team.
I'm just trying to learn the track, learning what it's like to run on a flat track like this. I'm just working on getting quicker and quicker. We're working on a lot of things with setup, and my driving style, and so we're playing with different things. We were playing with getting the car a little bit looser versus a little bit of push, and we just got on a little bit too loose there. It came around in (Turn) 4, and what I did is just wrapped it up to keep it off the outside wall, and here comes the little barrier between the pit road, and we just tapped it. It's unfortunate, but those things happen. We'll make some changes and get back out there."
- Brad Pollard
I would like to extend the warmest thank you to all of my sponsors, team, friends and fans who have supported me and helped me get this far in reaching my ultimate goal of someday competing in the Indianapolis 500.
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A sincere THANK YOU to all the wonderful support from the fans which line up to meet at the races. You make it so special!