SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS GRADUATES ITS CHAMPION TO INDYCAR SERIES TEAM INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. --Chip Ganassi Racing announced on Wednesday that the company has signed 2007 Indy Pro Series Champion, Alex Lloyd, to a contract to join its arsenal of...
SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS GRADUATES ITS CHAMPION TO INDYCAR SERIES TEAM
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. --Chip Ganassi Racing announced on Wednesday that the company has signed 2007 Indy Pro Series Champion, Alex Lloyd, to a contract to join its arsenal of star drivers.
The announcement is an exciting one for both Lloyd and Sam Schmidt Motorsports as this caps off the goals set at the start of the year.
In a dream, record-setting season, Lloyd won eight races, including the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, en route to winning the championship by scoring 652 points -- 171 points higher than second-place Hideki Mutoh.
The only goal left for Lloyd and the team to accomplish was to get a deal put together for Lloyd to move on to a high-profile racing team in the IndyCar Series.
With Wednesday's announcement, the team feels a great sense of accomplishment and pride for Lloyd.
"Everyone at Sam Schmidt Motorsports is extremely proud of what we were able to accomplish with Alex in 2007," team owner Sam Schmidt said. "We recognized great ability and potential in 2006 when he drove a partial season, and I'm glad that we were able to maximize those talents last year. Of course the championship and multiple records are great, but we are ultimately in this business to graduate drivers to the next level. Alex is the total package, and we have no doubt that he'll be very successful driving to TCGR.
"He has legitimately earned the shot, and I applaud Chip (Ganassi) and Mike (Hull) for supporting the system."
Lloyd will be Chip Ganassi Racing's "Development Driver," allowing him to take part in IndyCar Series races, Grand Am races, and an extensive testing program.
"I'm thrilled to be racing for Target Chip Ganassi Racing and would like to thank Chip and his team for giving me this opportunity," Lloyd said. "I have always regarded the team as one of the best in all of motor sport, and for me to now be a part of that is very exciting and a dream come true. I am looking forward very much to working with Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon. These are two of the top guys in the series, and I know I can learn a lot from them."