With IndyCar returning to Speedway, Indiana, this weekend, there’s plenty of interesting stories. The return of Montoya, Grosjean on pole, and even fans in the stands at Indianapolis again. But no news event is bigger than Sam Schmidt standing in the paddock. Sam towers over his drivers…a pillar or strength.
Sam Schmidt is a former IndyCar driver. With 27 race starts from 1996 to 1999, the high point of his career was a win from pole in the Vegas.com 500 in September 1999. Less than 3 months later, Sam’s career ended when he was severely injured in a crash at a Florida superspeedway that left him a quadriplegic.
In the two decades since that fateful day, he’s founded Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, the team now racing under the name Arrow McLaren SP. He partnered with Arrow Technologies to make his dream of driving a car again come true. Last year, Schmidt drove the Arrow SAM Car – SAM stands for semi-autonomous mobility – using head controls and voice commands.
But on the Friday before the Indy Grand Prix, Sam Schmidt stood in the garage of his race team, with the assistance of an exo-skeleton that looks like it’s from an Iron Man movie called the SAM suit, surely one of the world’s greatest ideas. Amazing..