Schmidt expands to four-car effort Sam Schmidt Motorsports will campaign four cars in Firestone Indy Lights in 2009, signing 2005 champion Wade Cunningham to drive the No. 11 Lucas Oil entry as a teammate to Ana Beatriz, James Hinchcliffe and Gustavo Yacaman.
"I'm honored to be a part of the team," Cunningham said. "There are big expectations placed onto the driver when they step into this seat because of the success that the Lucas Oil car has had, but I know that I'm more than capable to handle the expectations from the team and myself and to deliver the results that are needed."
Cunningham has five victories, seven poles and 32 top-five finishes in his Firestone Indy Lights career.
"To finally get this chance (to drive for Sam Schmidt) is exciting for myself because I've spent the last few years chasing them on the track,” Cunningham said. “When I arrived into the series in 2005, those guys were the team to beat. To be in their car is exciting because I feel like I've got an opportunity to do things that their drivers have done in the past.”
Sam Schmidt Motorsports will field four full-time cars for the first time. Team drivers won the championship in 2004, 2006 and 2007.
"We've got our hands full for this season, but being a Vegas resident, I'm an odds-man, and the more cars we have running at the front, the better our chances of winning the Firestone Firehawk Cup," team owner Sam Schmidt said. "For the past few years, Wade has consistently been one of our toughest competitors, and I'm pleased he'll be in the familiar Lucas Oil entry. Chris Griffis and Tim Neff have done an excellent job bringing in team members to support a fourth full-time entry, and I'm quite sure Wade's experience will pay dividends for the other three drivers."
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