Sam Schmidt

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Sam Schmidt
Schmidt & Tagliani 20110521.jpg
Sam Schmidt with 2011 Indianapolis 500 pole winner Alex Tagliani, who drove for Schmidt's team.
Nationality United States
Born (1964-08-15) August 15, 1964 (age 50)
Lincoln, Nebraska
Retired 2000
IndyCar Series
Years active 1997–1999
Teams Blueprint Racing
LP Racing
Treadway Racing
Starts 26
Wins 1
Poles 1
Best finish 5th in 1999
Previous series
1995 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series

Sam Schmidt (born August 15, 1964 in Lincoln, Nebraska) is a former Indy Racing League driver and current Verizon IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights series team owner.

Racing career[edit]

After graduating from Pepperdine University he became a successful businessman, eventually purchasing his father's parts company in 1989 at the age of 25. He raced at a competitive amateur level, supported by his business income, but dreamed of someday driving in the Indianapolis 500. He first drove professionally in 1995 in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series at the age of 31, by racing standards an unusually old age to begin a professional career. Nonetheless, he won Rookie of the Year honors.

In 1997 he made his first IRL start and became a rising star in the league, raced in 3 consecutive Indianapolis 500's, and netted his first victory from the pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 1999, finishing fifth in series points that year. During that offseason, while testing in preparation for the 2000 season, Schmidt crashed at Walt Disney World Speedway on January 6, 2000. The accident rendered him a quadriplegic, and on a respirator for five months.[1]

After leaving the hospital, Schmidt, no longer able to actually drive a racecar, realized he needed to find a new passion and follow it. Inspired by meeting paraplegic Formula One team owner Sir Frank Williams, he founded Sam Schmidt Motorsports, which has become the most successful team in the history of the Indy Lights series, winning the 2004 series championship with Thiago Medeiros, the 2006 title with Jay Howard, and the 2007 title with Alex Lloyd. Sam Schmidt Motorsports was a full-time IndyCar series team in 2001 and 2002, and continues to participate annually in the Indianapolis 500. In the Firestone Indy Lights series, as of August 2009 the team had posted 30 victories out of 100 starts. After acquiring the FAZZT Race Team IndyCar team in 2011, Sam Schmidt Motorsports returned full-time to the IZOD IndyCar Series, and on May 21, 2011, driver Alex Tagliani won the pole position for the Indianapolis 500, the first pole for the team.

Other activities[edit]

In addition to the motorsports enterprise, Sam established the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation to further the cause of paralysis research, treatment and quality of life issues.

Sam now lives in the Las Vegas area and travels over 100 days per year despite his medical condition.

Career results[edit]

American Open Wheel[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

IndyCar[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Rank Points
1996–1997 Blueprint Racing United States
NHM
United States
LVS
United States
WDW
United States
PHX
10
United States
IND
34
United States
TXS
23
United States
PPI
      27th 76
LP Racing               United States
CLT
18
United States
NH2
22
United States
LV2
27
1998 LP Racing/PCI United States
WDW
9
United States
PHX
7
United States
INDY
26
United States
TXS
18
United States
NHM
12
United States
DOV
17
United States
CLT
14
United States
PPI
13
United States
ATL
15
United States
TX2
27
United States
LVS
2
14th 186
1999 Treadway Racing United States
WDW
27
United States
PHX
9
United States
CLT
C1
United States
INDY
30
United States
TXS
3
United States
PPI
2
United States
ATL
22
United States
DOV
5
United States
PP2
5
United States
LVS
1
United States
TX2
22
5th 233
1 The 1999 VisionAire 500K at Charlotte was cancelled after 79 laps due to spectator fatalities.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1], Sam's story, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, may 21, 2014

External links[edit]