IRL: J. Lazier to drive for Sam Schmidt Motorsports at Richmond

RICHMOND, Va., Thursday, June 28, 2001 - Indy Racing veteran Jaques Lazier will drive for Sam Schmidt Motorsports in the SunTrust Indy Challenge on June 30 at Richmond, team owner Sam Schmidt announced June 27. Lazier, from Vail, Colo., will be...

RICHMOND, Va., Thursday, June 28, 2001 - Indy Racing veteran Jaques Lazier will drive for Sam Schmidt Motorsports in the SunTrust Indy Challenge on June 30 at Richmond, team owner Sam Schmidt announced June 27.

Lazier, from Vail, Colo., will be behind the wheel of the No. 99 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Racing Special on the ¾-mile oval at RIR.

"I am enormously excited about the opportunity," Lazier said. "The team has demonstrated with the assistance of Davey (Hamilton) and Richie (Hearn) that they have what it takes to run up front.

"I already know several of the guys on the team, and I'm looking forward to renewing those relationships and building new ones in a pursuit of giving Sam his first top-five finish and ultimately the win."

Lazier has made three starts this season in the Northern Light Series, with a best finish of ninth on June 9 at Texas Motor Speedway. He finished 22nd at the Indianapolis 500 in May. Lazier, younger brother of 2000 Northern Light Series champion Buddy Lazier, has made 18 career Indy Racing starts with eight top-10 finishes.

Richie Hearn drove for Schmidt's team in the Radisson Indy 200 on June 17 at Pikes Peak International Raceway, finishing ninth. He substituted for Davey Hamilton, who suffered severe foot and leg injuries in a crash during the Casino Magic 500 on June 9.

"The team was excited about a top-10 finish at Pikes Peak, and I want to thank Richie for his fantastic efforts at the race," Schmidt said. "He did everything we asked of him and is certainly a talent in the seat.

"It has always been my position that I want the most experience available, given the budget limitations for our team this season. That being said, I am very pleased to have Jaques join us for Richmond. He is one of the rising stars of the Indy Racing League, and with the right opportunity I think everyone in the garage area agrees that it's just a matter of time before he follows in his brother's footsteps and wins races."

-IRNLS/IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buddy Lazier , Davey Hamilton , Richie Hearn , Sam Schmidt