SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS CONTINUES CANADIAN SWING WITH RACE IN EDMONTON THIS WEEKEND EDMONTON - After winning the first of two Canadian races last weekend in Toronto, Sam Schmidt Motorsports is ready to tackle the City Centre Airport Circuit in...
SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS CONTINUES CANADIAN SWING WITH RACE IN EDMONTON THIS WEEKEND
EDMONTON - After winning the first of two Canadian races last weekend in Toronto, Sam Schmidt Motorsports is ready to tackle the City Centre Airport Circuit in Edmonton this weekend in part two of the Canadian weekends. Practice beings on Friday with a one-hour session at 1:30 p.m. A second 45-minute practice will take place on Saturday at 9:15 a.m. Qualifying will be later that afternoon at 2:15. A final warm-up session will be on Sunday at 9:20 a.m. before the race itself at 1 p.m. The Edmonton 100 and all other on track sessions from the downtown circuit can be seen live on indycar.com or firestoneindylights.com. All times listed are in MT.
Can Vernay complete the hat trick in Canada and win three in a row at another new circuit?
Coming off two consecutive victories on tracks that he's never seen before, it'd be appropriate to see J.K. Vernay score the victory hat-trick in Canada at another new venue for him. He's shown to be a quick learner on the temporary street circuits having won in St. Petersburg and Toronto and finishing on the podium at Long Beach, so there's no question that even though the venue is new, Vernay has to be seen as one of the favorites heading into this weekend. In seven starts this year, he's finished off the podium only once, and even then, it was due to an issue out of Vernay's hands in Indianapolis. The team expects a strong car on the track, and Vernay expects a strong performance out of himself whilst maneuvering the track.
Canadian Philip Major looks to rebound and get back to fighting for a top-five finish.
One driver that's happy to have races on consecutive weekends is Philip Major. Wanting to get back in the saddle as quickly as possible after a disappointing weekend in Toronto, Major is determined to get back to chasing his first top-five of the season. In seven starts this year, he's earned five top-10 finishes and has flirted with the top-five in three of those events consecutively in Indianapolis, Iowa, and Watkins Glen - all three completely different types of racing circuits. To earn a top-five this weekend in Canada would be extra special for Major as it's the final race in his home country for 2010.
Coming off tying her career-best finish with a broken hand, Mann will have to hang on tight.
What makes Pippa Mann's recent career-tying best finish of eighth in Toronto all the more impressive is that the feat was done with a broken left hand. She was experiencing pain during the latter part of the race weekend, but it wasn't until Tuesday morning after the race that an x-ray confirmed that she had broken the third metacarpal down to the joint. She'll have a difficult weekend ahead of her as the Edmonton circuit is one of the bumpiest and physically demanding circuits on the schedule, but she's had a brace made to hopefully spread the load on her broken hand to ease some of the pain.
DRIVER NOTES & QUOTES
#7 LUCAS OIL/CJ Motorsport/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver J.K. Vernay
"Every track has been new to me, but I have been successful on every new track, so I hope I can still finish well and protect my lead in the championship. The goal always is to win. The Sam Schmidt team has been doing a great job all year in preparing me cars capable of winning, and I expect nothing less this weekend. I hear this track is challenging, but I'm looking forward to it. It will be a great weekend."
#11 LOBLAWS/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver Pippa Mann
"I really liked Edmonton last year. I thought it was a great place. I like that it's a physical track, although I might like that a bit less this year! Edmonton is one of the most physical and bumpy circuits we visit all year. As such it's perhaps not an ideal place to be carrying a hand injury. I am hopeful that the medical team will be able to keep me out on track, and that I will be able to go full race distance. In Toronto the injury was fresher, but here the track is more physical. I hope I will be able to have a good race with some people in the race, but it is quite difficult to predict how much of an impact it will have. Obviously I'm shooting to be top-10 again, but I'm also aware that I might have to rely on some mistakes of others to do that."
#49 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver Philip Major
"I'm excited about racing in Edmonton this weekend. I'm happy that it's less than a week after Toronto that we get going again because I've been wanting to put that race behind me. I think we've found what we did wrong in Toronto and can learn from it heading into this weekend. We'll be much stronger in Edmontom. Looking at the track, I can tell that it's going to be really quick and really bumpy. It's going to be super challenging, but I'm up for it. I think we just need to get a good start on Friday, get a good baseline on the car, and we should be good to go for the rest of the weekend."
Team Owner, Sam Schmidt
"I'm looking forward to experiencing the Edmonton event in person for the first time. Canadian fans really know their open-wheel racing, and this event has a huge amount of energy. Being incredibly fast and physical, this circuit is a good driver's track. It's also one of the only events a Sam Schmidt Motorsports driver has not won, so that will certainly be the primary goal."