Recovered quadriplegic tests for Sam Schmidt Motorsports at LVMS
LAS VEGAS - Sam Schmidt Motorsports held a Menards Infiniti Pro Series (IPS) and Indy Racing League (IRL) test session at the 1.5-mile superspeedway at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Tuesday.
Pat Rummerfield, a fully recovered spinal cord injury quadriplegic, was among the five drivers testing. Rummerfield, who was injured in an automobile accident in 1974, tested an IPS car in hopes to partner with Schmidt and race for spinal cord research.
"It's the first time that a quadriplegic has ever been in one (car)," Rummerfield said. "Sam Schmidt and I are attempting to raise money for spinal cord research utilizing racing as a vehicle. This is a great way to heighten awareness for spinal cord research and to raise some funds.
"It took me a little while to get comfortable in the car and to figure it out. Once we accomplished that, the speeds came up."
Rummerfield's racing credentials include NASCAR testing, the national speed record for an all-electric car and completion of various driving schools. In addition to racing, Rummerfield has completed the Ironman Triathlon race in Hawaii.
This marked the second consecutive year Schmidt has held such a test at LVMS. Last year Dan Wheldon, the 2003 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series Bombardier Rookie of the Year, participated in the test.
"We are seeing a huge interest in drivers from Midgets, Sprints and Formula 2000 in the Infiniti Pro Series," Sam Schmidt said. "This is an opportunity for them to test it out and see if they like it and to give us feedback."
Other drivers testing for Sam Schmidt Motorsports included Travis Gregg, Jimmy Dziewior, Ron Thurman and P.J. Abbott.