Schmidt inducted into Southern Nevada Hall of Fame

IndyCar team owner Sam Schmidt has been inducted into the Southern Nevada Hall of Fame in recognition of his achievements in and out of the cockpit.

Schmidt inducted into Southern Nevada Hall of Fame
James Hinchcliffe, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda and Sam Schmidt celebrates
Sam Schmidt
Sam Schmidt and the ARROW Chevrolet Corvette
Sam Schmidt piloting the ARROW Chevrolet Corvette
Sam Schmidt
Sam Schmidt, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Schmidt, who had scored his first Indy car win and pole position at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 1999, was paralyzed four months later in an accident at Walt Disney World Speedway. However, since then he has built up the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team (née Sam Schmidt Motorsports) and won seven Indy Lights championships, more than 70 Lights races, and six IndyCar wins.

As well as his team’s accomplishments on track, Schmidt set up the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation and has also done considerable work with one of his team sponsors, Arrow Electronics, to inspire paraplegics and quadraplegics to work around their physical boundaries. Schmidt’s efforts have included lapping several race tracks in a specially adapted Chevrolet Corvette which uses sip ’n’ puff technology to accelerate and brake, and whose steering is defined by the driver’s eye and head movements. Last year Schmidt earned the first license to drive a semi-autonomous car.

Although born in Lincoln, Nebraska, Schmidt has been a resident of Henderson, Nevada, for 22 years. Other 2017 inductees into the Southern Nevada Hall of Fame are possibly the greatest boxer of the past quarter-century, Floyd Mayweather, late football star Overton Curtis, legendary golf instructor Butch Harmon and the Las Vegas Bowl sports arena.

“The class of 2017 is accomplished in so many different ways,” said Hall of Fame executive director Dan Dolby. “We have an outstanding group of athletes who have contributed both in the competitive arena and in the community, as well as one of most iconic and longest-lasting sporting events in our city.

“This class again represents the best attributes of our community, and we are thrilled to bestow upon them the state’s highest sports honor in welcoming them to the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame.”

Schmidt commented: “It’s a huge honor to be included in this years Hall of Fame group, not to mention the incredible list of previous inductees. The HOF not only recognizes athletic achievements, but also emphasizes community and philanthropic efforts.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my family, friends and team members who, on a daily basis, allow me to keep living the dream!"

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About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Sam Schmidt
Teams Arrow McLaren SP
Author David Malsher-Lopez
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