Schmidt moves Lights team to new shop in Indianapolis
After two races in Canada on consecutive weekends, the members of Sam Schmidt Motorsports have packed their bags for their return trip home, and more importantly, a new race shop from which they'll work.
Beginning on August 1st, the team will officially be at their new address: 6803 Coffman Road in Indy's northwest side of town.
"As an organization, we're always seeking ways to grow on and off the track, and we felt the time was right to move into a bigger facility and give the team the ability to expand our racing capabilities," team owner, Sam Schmidt said.
The race shop has a lot of history as it was the former home of Kelley Racing, an entrant in the IndyCar Series during the formative years of the Indy Racing League until their last race at the end of 2004.
The team's assets, including the race shop, were then purchased by Tony and Laura George when they began their startup operation, Vision Racing, which competed full-time between 2005 and 2009 and just recently finished 15th in the 2010 Indianapolis 500 with Ed Carpenter driving. When Vision Racing ceased competition as a full-time operation earlier in 2010, the opportunity became available for Schmidt to pursue purchasing the facility and contents.
"The new shop is packed with state of the art motorsports equipment that we've managed to be without in our formative years," Schmidt said. "The timing of all this couldn't be better, and I know that the team and myself are looking forward to our new home. Combined with our experienced and technical staff already in place, this shop provides Sam Schmidt Motorsports the ability to compete in any series, if given the opportunity."
The new space is effectively 3.5 times larger than the team's previous base and incorporates the latest IndyCar technical equipment including a comprehensive fabrication shop, surface plates, dedicated shock and gearbox rooms, engineering space, carbon fiber manufacturing and body fit room, sufficient space for all transporters to park inside the shop, and most importantly according to Schmidt, a very large barbecue.
The team will say goodbye to their old shop at 7991 21st Street on Indy's west side. The shop, owned by Bill Simpson of Impact Racing, had been the home to Sam Schmidt Motorsports since 2002. Before moving in, Schmidt's IndyCar team that he drove for, Treadway Racing, had taken residence there.
It's a nostalgic end to an era for Schmidt and the racing team.
"There's been a lot of victories created out of that shop both personally and for the race team," Schmidt said. "That was the home of the team that I got my first IndyCar pole position and win in, and our Firestone Indy Lights team has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success through the years being based out of there, including three driver championships and 36 race wins in the series."