Jeff Simmons (racing driver)

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Jeff Simmons
Nationality United States American
Born (1976-08-05) August 5, 1976 (age 38)
Hartford, Connecticut
IRL IndyCar Series
Years active 2004, 2006-2008
Teams Mo Nunn Racing
Patrick Racing
Rahal Letterman Racing
A. J. Foyt Enterprises
Starts 26
Wins 0
Poles 0
Best champ.
finish
16th in 2006
Previous series
2000, 2003-2006, 2008 Indy Lights

Jeff Simmons (born August 5, 1976, in Hartford, Connecticut) is an American race car driver,[1] most recently driving open wheel cars in the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series.[2]

Early career[edit]

Simmons began his professional career in the Barber Dodge Pro Series in 1998. In his first season he won the rookie of the year and the series championship, becoming only the second rookie ever to win the title. The “Career Enhancement Award” of $250,000 that went with the title was not enough to secure him a ride at the next level, Indy Lights, so he returned to Barber Dodge in 1999. He successfully defended his championship and in so doing became the only person ever to win the championship twice. With two “Career Enhancement Awards” ($500,000) behind him he moved up to the Indy Lights with Team Green in 2000, finishing 7th overall. When Michael Andretti joined Team Green to form Andretti Green Racing, the Indy Lights effort was disbanded. Simmons tested at the end of that year with the 2000 Indy Lights champs, PacWest Racing. However, Simmons’ lack of funding left him without a team for both 2001 and 2002. He made his return to racing in 2003 in the Infiniti Pro Series, leading his first race back and ultimately finishing 2nd in the championship with 2 wins. In 2004, Simmons once again lacked the sponsorship needed for a full-time ride, However, AJ Foyt put him in his Infiniti Pro Series car at Indianapolis where the finished 2nd. That led to Mo Nunn giving him a chance to qualify his second car for the Indianapolis 500, which he did, with just 37 laps ever in an IndyCar, and finished 16th in the race. He made one additional start that year for Patrick Racing after the retirement of Al Unser, Jr. at Kansas Speedway. He put the Patrick car in the highest position it had seen all year and was set to record a top-10 when he was taken out by two of his competitors. Unable to find a ride in IndyCar for 2005, he returned to the Pro Series, finishing second in the series championship with 4 victories for Team ISI/Kenn Hardley Racing.

IndyCar Series[edit]

Expecting another season in the Pro Series in 2006, those plans were turned upside down when Paul Dana was killed in a practice crash before the first IndyCar series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on a weekend where Simmons won the IPS race.

Simmons was rewarded for his resilience when Rahal Letterman Racing announced April 4, 2006, he would drive the No. 17 Ethanol-sponsored Panoz-Honda effective April 22 in Motegi and was eligible to compete for the Rookie of the Year award, although he was no longer an Indy 500 rookie due to his start in 2004. He contested the remainder of the 2006 IRL IndyCar Series season and finished 16th in series points despite missing the first two races. His best finish in 2006 was 7th place at Nashville Superspeedway and Infineon Raceway.

Simmons practicing his Foyt Enterprises #41 car for the 2008 Indianapolis 500

For the 2007 season, Simmons was joined at Rahal Letterman by IRL veteran Scott Sharp. The season saw the team hampered by engineering and mechanical issues ultimately resulting in a lawsuit by Sharp against the team and its owners. Simmons led the Indianapolis 500 that year and ran in the top-5 most of the race until rain forced an early end to the event and Simmons to finish in 11th. On July 19, after 11 races, Simmons was let go from the team, who replaced him with fellow American Ryan Hunter-Reay.

In February 2007, Jeff became engaged to WTHR Sunrise reporter, Stephanie Soviar. They were married in September of that year, but ended up getting divorced in April 2010.

Simmons returned to the Indy Lights Series (formerly the Indy Pro Series) at the beginning of the 2008 season, driving for Team Moore Racing. He was given a chance to return to the IndyCar Series, albeit temporarily, to drive a second entry for A. J. Foyt Enterprises in the 2008 Indianapolis 500 and qualified 24th. He quickly moved up the field in the race until a pit lane incident damaged the car. A mechanical failure finally sent him into the wall during a caution period, resulting in a 28th-place finish.

Motorsports Career Results[edit]

American open–wheel racing results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Barber Dodge Pro Series[edit]

Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Rank Points
1997 United States
STP
United States
SEB
United States
SAV
27
United States
LRP
United States
MDO
United States
WGI
10
United States
MIN
United States
MDO
Canada
ROA
United States
LS
7
United States
REN
United States
LS
??? ???
1998 United States
SEB
United States
LRP
10
United States
DET
1
United States
WGI
1
United States
CLE
3
United States
GRA
2
United States
MDO
26
United States
ROA
5
United States
LS1
2
United States
ATL
1
United States
HMS
2
United States
LS2
2
1st 158
1999 United States
SEB
5
United States
NAZ
2
United States
LRP
20
United States
POR
1
United States
CLE
3
United States
ROA
1
United States
DET
24
United States
MDO
2
United States
GRA
7
United States
LS
1
United States
HMS
4
United States
WGI
5
1st 152

Indy Lights[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Rank Points
2000 Team KOOL Green United States
LBH
4
United States
MIL
7
United States
DET
9
United States
POR
3
United States
MIS
15
United States
CHI
7
United States
MDO
6
Canada
VAN
3
United States
LS
3
United States
STL
14
United States
HOU
11
United States
FON
6
7th 88

Indy Pro Series[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Rank Points
2003 Keith Duesenberg Racing United States
HMS
14
United States
PHX
5
United States
INDY
4
United States
PPIR
2
United States
KAN
14
United States
NSH
4
United States
MIS
2
United States
STL
1
United States
KTY
1
United States
CHI
3
United States
FON
8
United States
TXS
2
2nd 407
2004 A. J. Foyt Enterprises United States
HMS
United States
PHX
United States
INDY
2
United States
KAN
United States
NSH
United States
MIL
United States
MIS
United States
KTY
12th 150
Kenn Hardley Racing United States
PPIR
9
United States
CHI
2
United States
FON
10
United States
TXS
6
2005 Kenn Hardley Racing United States
HMS
9
United States
PHX
12
United States
STP
12
United States
INDY
7
United States
TXS
8
United States
IMS
13
United States
NSH
2
United States
MIL
1
United States
KTY
5
United States
PPIR
1
United States
SNM
3
United States
CHI
1
United States
WGL
1
United States
FON
2
2nd 474
2006 Kenn Hardley Racing United States
HMS
1
United States
STP1
2
United States
STP2
4
United States
INDY
United States
WGL
United States
IMS
United States
NSH
United States
MIL
United States
KTY
United States
SNM1
United States
SNM2
United States
CHI
12th 122
2008 Team Moore Racing United States
HMS
United States
STP1
4
United States
STP2
19
United States
KAN
7
United States
INDY
8
United States
MIL
2
United States
IOW
6
United States
WGL1
3
United States
WGL2
6
United States
NSH
15
United States
MDO1
6
United States
MDO2
21
United States
KTY
23
United States
SNM1
United States
SNM2
United States
CHI
13th 285
2010 Team E United States
STP
United States
ALA
United States
LBH
United States
INDY
15
United States
IOW
United States
WGL
Canada
TOR
Canada
EDM
United States
MDO
United States
SNM
United States
CHI
United States
KTY
United States
HMS
34th 15

IndyCar Series[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Rank Points
2004 Mo Nunn Racing HMS PHX MOT INDY
16
TXS RIR 29th 26
Patrick Racing KAN
Ret
NSH MIL MIS KTY PPIR NZR CHI FON TX2
2006 Rahal Letterman Racing HMS STP MOT
Ret
INDY
Ret
WGL
Ret
TXS
15
RIR
Ret
KAN
10
NSH
7
MIL
9
MIS
10
KTY
14
SNM
7
CHI
8
16th 217
2007 Rahal Letterman Racing HMS
Ret
STP
14
MOT
8
KAN
10
INDY
11
MIL
10
TXS
6
IOW
Ret
RIR
Ret
WGL
10
NSH
14
MDO MIS KTY SNM DET CHI 18th 201
2008 A. J. Foyt Enterprises HMS STP MOT1 LBH1 KAN INDY
Ret
MIL TXS IOW RIR WGL NSH MDO EDM KTY SNM DET CHI SRF2
39th 10
1 Run on same day.
2 Non-points race.
Years Teams Races Poles Wins Podiums
(Non-win)
Top 10s
(Non-podium)
Indianapolis 500
Wins
Championships
4 4 26 0 0 0 11 0 0

Indianapolis 500[edit]

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Team
2004 Dallara Toyota 29 16 Mo Nunn Racing
2006 Panoz Honda 26 23 Rahal Letterman Racing
2007 Dallara Honda 13 11 Rahal Letterman Racing
2008 Dallara Honda 24 28 A. J. Foyt Enterprises

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jeff Simmons - Bio". jeffsimmons.com. Retrieved 26 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "Simmons in at Team E for Indianapolis". junioropenwheeltalent.com. Retrieved 26 December 2010. 
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Derek Hill
Barber Dodge Pro Series Champion
1998-1999
Succeeded by
Nilton Rossoni