IRL: Schmidt announcement on drivers for Joliet and Texas

Hearn and Lazzaro Will Drive Again for Schmidt Lebanon, In ­ Sam Schmidt Motorsports announced today that Richie Hearn will drive the ...

Hearn and Lazzaro Will Drive Again for Schmidt

Lebanon, In ­ Sam Schmidt Motorsports announced today that Richie Hearn will drive the #99 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Racing Special for the Delphi Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway this coming Labor Day Weekend and that Anthony Lazzaro would assume the helm for the Indy Racing Northern Light Series season finale at Texas Motor Speedway.

"I am obviously excited to have this opportunity!" remarked Hearn. "The testing that I was able to do with Bradley Motorsports will help me out a lot. The car was well prepared and I appreciated the opportunity. The last time I raced on a 1.5 mile track was the time I won in Las Vegas (IRL event). So, the laps that I've had will help me get up to speed faster. I am really looking forward to running up front with Sam and his guys and getting the solid finish like we had in Pikes Peak ...and since I have no other plans at this time, getting the good finish will be important as we head into next season."

As for Mr. Lazzaro and the opportunity at Texas, "I get to drive the A car. That's pretty big for me!" he exclaimed! "St. Louis was great. I cannot express my appreciation more to Sam for giving me the opportunity to get my feet wet in the IRL. As a driver looking for a ride you constantly hear `bring money' and well, Sam put his money where his mouth was and stepped up to make it happen for me. I will always be grateful for that! I am looking forward to Texas. I have been there in a Busch Car and with American Lemans, so I'm comfortable with the track. You know Sam and I go way back and I have to say that it's really great to be working with him and to be able to be with our long time sponsor, BG Products. The folks at BG are family and their support of us goes way beyond a checkbook and a logo. They show up at the track, they send e-mails, they call, and they even bring birthday cakes to the track. This is just...well great!"

Sam has felt somewhat like the host for "driver du jour" for the #99 car. "They aren't many teams that have had five drivers in a single year." commented Schmidt. "It has been an interesting year. But as we round out the season, I am happy to have both Richie and Anthony in the seat. Richie did a great job for us in Pikes Peak. Given his testing opportunity in Chicago, I wanted to give him the chance to demonstrate his capabilities as a winning driver. With Anthony as well, he had a solid run in St. Louis and I think he has proven to himself as well as to others that he belongs in the Indy Racing League. I am hopeful that we can run up front and continue to build a solid performance foundation that will allow us to attract the marketing partnerships we need to continue into 2002. I know that the team is capable. I know that Richie and Anthony are capable. It's just a matter of time...and money."

Sam Schmidt Motorsports has established several marketing programs for Sam Schmidt the team and The Paralysis Foundation for the 2002 season. Sam Schmidt For more information call: 765-482-3548. O


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Richie Hearn , Anthony Lazzaro , Sam Schmidt