Schmidt to Host Injured Texans at Texas Motor Speedway An original test market for program is special stop, Day At The Races Progam will be held Friday, June 10th FORT WORTH, Tex. -- It's a stubborn habit he picked up from his father -...
Schmidt to Host Injured Texans at Texas Motor Speedway
An original test market for program is special stop, Day At The Races Progam will be held Friday, June 10th
FORT WORTH, Tex. -- It's a stubborn habit he picked up from his father - his relentless conviction to tomorrow . . . and the next day, and the day after that. Sam Schmidt, a quadriplegic since an accident while practicing his Indy car in 2000, takes his new role in stride and uses his personal willpower to help other paralysis victims realize their potential in their new situations.
Through the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation and with the help of Texas Motor Speedway (TMS), Andretti Green Racing and local Texas organizations such as Easter Seals of Dallas and Northwest Texas, REACH of Dallas, Denton and Fort Worth, Schmidt will again host Texans with spinal cord injuries and other debilitating injuries in the "Day At The Races" program, Friday, June 10, at TMS.
"Eddie Gossage, Kenton Nelson and their entire Texas Motor Speedway staff have supported Day At The Races since day one," proclaims Schmidt. "They were one of our first test markets and have always said 'whatever you guys need.' We greatly appreciate their generosity and continued efforts to help us reach out to people with disabilities in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Their tremendous support makes the trip to Texas that much greater."
The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation (SSPF), Texas Motor Speedway and Andretti Green Racing will give local spinal cord injury patients and their guests, the opportunity to experience open wheel racing behind the scenes -- and to be encouraged by Schmidt, who works daily to overcome the adversities of his own spinal cord injuries.
As part of the program, Schmidt's guests will dine in the Andretti Green Racing hospitality area, tour the pits and garages of the speedway, watch IndyCar practice and spend some time hearing stories and words of inspiration from Schmidt.
"I enjoy exposing all of our guests to the excitement of open wheel racing at the highest level. I want them to have a behind the scenes look that the majority of them would never have the opportunity to see otherwise," says Schmidt. "Most importantly, for the recently injured or disabled rehabilitation patients, is that they realize their situation doesn't mean they can't have a life and pursue their interests when released from the hospital."
Schmidt's successful IndyCar racing career ended in January of 2000, when his race car crashed during a practice session. With the persuasion of friends and family, Sam founded Sam Schmidt Motorsports, which will field Menards Infiniti Pro Series race cars for Travis Gregg, Jaime Camara, Chris Festa, and P.J. Abbott at TMS on Saturday, June 11th. The team gives Schmidt an outlet for his racing talent and it provides a good promotional foundation for his true passion, the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation.
Sam Schmidt Motorsports is also a means of promoting and publicizing the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation. The Foundation (www.samschmidt.org) helps individuals overcome spinal cord injuries and other neurological disorders by funding scientific research, medical treatment, rehabilitation and technological advances. This research also benefits stroke victims and people diagnosed with ALS, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. The Foundation also addresses quality of life issues benefiting people with paralysis and other disabilities through its national Day at the Races programs and works tirelessly promoting advocacy concerns.
"I emphasize to those with spinal cord injuries that many exciting research projects and programs are underway around the world and they should make every effort to stay in shape with the hope that procedures are coming to improve their situation. What the future holds for each of them is entirely up to them individually," says Schmidt. "Positive attitude is everything."
Sam Schmidt spends two and a half hours each morning just getting out of bed and getting ready for each day. He keeps his body in very good physical condition. He does this all because he has hope that there will be a cure some day, and he wants to be ready to walk when that day comes.
"I don't want to have to wait even longer to rebuild muscle - when I get to walk again, I want to be ready! And keeping your body healthy keeps you from getting a lot of the other illnesses that can easily affect a person that's not getting much activity," Schmidt explains.
For more information about the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation visit www.SamSchmidt.org or call (317) 236-9999.