SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS LOOKS TO RE-VISIT VICTORY LANE AT MID-OHIO
LEXINGTON, Ohio -- Fresh off a victory less than a week ago, Sam Schmidt Motorsports has arrived in Ohio for this weekend's Firestone Indy Lights event at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The short weekend is kicked off on Saturday morning with a practice session at 8:30 for 45 minutes. Qualifying follows at 11:30 a.m. Then, on Sunday, a 20-minute warm-up takes place at 8 a.m., followed by the race itself at 10:15 a.m. All on-track session times are listed in EDT and can be seen live via streaming video on indycar.com.
The television broadcast of the Mid-Ohio 100 airs on Monday, August 10, at 4 p.m. EDT on VERSUS.
All four Sam Schmidt drivers enter this weekend's event with good experience at Mid-Ohio.
This weekend is one of the rare weekends where all four Sam Schmidt drivers can say they have prior experience on the circuit. Whether it's been new circuits to the series or having the team run two Firestone Indy Lights rookies, it's a rare occurrence when all four drivers enter a race weekend ready to tackle the track from the first lap on. Ana Beatriz and Wade Cunningham have raced at this track before in the series (twice for Beatriz, three times for Cunningham), while James Hinchcliffe and Gustavo Yacaman had the opportunity to test at the circuit with Cunningham prior to this weekend. Although the test was hampered by rain, the drivers did get enough time to learn how their car handles the circuit and to baseline where they need to start upon their return here. As there's only 45 minutes of practice time available befor qualifying, it is to the team's advantage that they came here previously to run laps. All four drivers feel very confident and ready to tackle the weekend that awaits.
Supporting the drivers familiarity with the track are two key rolls that the team rides. First, the team enters this weekend's event fresh off a victory in the last round. Also, in 2008, the team rolled into victory lane at this circuit with James Davison thanks to a thrilling last-lap pass under yellow when the leader at the time pulled into the pits before receiving the checkered flag.
DRIVER NOTES & QUOTES
#7 HINCHTOWN.com/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver James Hinchcliffe
"Mid-Ohio is a very technical track with a cool variety of fast and slow corners. It has a really nice rhythm and is a pleasure to drive, but part of the challenge is passing in the race. It's really tough to get a run on a guy so it puts extra importance on qualifying well. Also, as the championship winds down, I'm looking forward to having a strong end of the season. With four races left and a good mix of tracks, proving that we can be competitive and be on the podium at any kind of track is important. If we do that, then we should move nicely up the championship table."
#11 LUCAS OIL/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver Wade Cunningham
"This is a really important weekend for us in the championship. As the season starts coming to an end, it's important that we continue to gain ground on the AGR cars like we did in Kentucky. We know that we'll need a little bit of misfortunate to fall AGR's way like in the last round, but we've also got to go out and put up strong results ourselves. Mid-Ohio is a challenging track to do so, but we're looking forward to putting in a solid effort this weekend in the Lucas Oil car."
#20 HEALTHY CHOICE/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver Ana Beatriz
"I am very excited to go back to Mid-Ohio. It's is a fun track but probably the hardest one of the season. I think at Edmonton we showed that we could improve our speed on the road courses and we were running well there until our incident. We're looking forward to this race to continue to move forward and improve even more. Hopefully, my Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt team will be fighting for a podium this weekend."
#44 CREPES & WAFFLES/TUVACOL/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver Gustavo Yacaman
"I'm looking forward to running this weekend. I have a clean slate on my mind. This is actually a track I've had the opportunity to test before coming here, so I'm excited to start working on our pace right away. We've been strong on the road courses lately, and I'm looking to continue that performance."
Team Owner, Sam Schmidt
"We're coming off a good weekend in Kentucky, but that was last week. Mid-Ohio presents a whole new set of challenges to our drivers. We were fortunate, VERY fortunate to visit victory lane at this track last year, and I'm hoping we can have more of the same this year. For all of our drivers, this is an important round in the championship, and all four have opportunities to make up good ground in the points this weekend."