Sam Schmidt Motorsports, 2012 Firestone Indy Lights Sukup 100 Pre-Race Notes & Quotes

SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS
Firestone Indy Lights
Event Preview

EVENT: Sukup 100
SERIES: Round 7 of 12 in the 2012 Firestone Indy Lights Series
CIRCUIT: Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa (7/8-mile oval)
DATE: Saturday, June 23, 2012
DISTANCE: 100 miles/115 laps
2011 WINNER: Josef Newgarden for Sam Schmidt Motorsports

Team Owner: Sam Schmidt
Team Manager: Dave Higuera
Team Drivers:  
#77 Tristan Vautier – Corenc, France (1st in points) – @TristanVautier
#11 Esteban Guerrieri – Buenos Aires, Argentina (2nd in points) – @E_Guerrieri
#3 Victor Carbone – Sao Paulo, Brazil (4th in points)- @victorcarbone13
#7 Oliver Webb – Manchester, England (7th in points) – @oliverjameswebb

 

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Starting over in Iowa


When Tristan Vautier pulled into The Milwaukee Mile’s victory lane last Friday night after winning the Firestone Indy Lights race, it was the 50th time that a Sam Schmidt Motorsports (SSM) car had been driven into victory lane after an Indy Lights race.
If Vautier or one of his three Sam Schmidt Motorsports’ teammates have a say, they will start on Schmidt’s next 50 win’s Saturday night at the Iowa Speedway by winning the Sukup 100. History is on SSM’s side at Iowa.
There have been five Firestone Indy Lights races on the 7/8-mile Iowa Speedway oval, and three have been won by SSM drivers. Vautier, Victor Carbone, Esteban Guerrieri and Oliver Webb will be racing each other and a tough Indy Lights field to get SSM’s 51st overall and 4thwin at Iowa Speedway.
Who won all those races?
The following is the list of 17 drivers who have won Firestone Indy Lights races for Sam Schmidt Motorsports: Alex Lloyd (8), Thiago Medeiros (6), Josef Newgarden (5), J.K. Vernay (5), Esteban Guerrieri (5), Wade Cunningham (3), Travis Gregg (3), Ana Beatriz (2), Richard Antinucci (2), Jay Howard (2), Jaime Camara (2), Tristan Vautier (2), Victor Carbone (1), Conor Daly (1), Pippa Mann (1), James Davison (1) and Logan Gomez (1).

Pre-Race Quotes


“VICTOR CARBONE, Driver of the No. 3 MAV TV/Nevoni/SSM Car

All the ovals on which you race are different. Can you learn things from the other tracks that will help you in Iowa?
“Yes, all the ovals are really different from one another. But the mentality of racing on an oval is the same at all of them. So, for sure, you can bring things you learn from other oval tracks to Iowa. The track is really short, a bit less than a mile long, and it is quite banked so we don’t slow down too much in the turns and we are constantly turning.”
Why will fans see a good race in Iowa?
“I think the race will be something between Indy and Milwaukee. There won’t be pack racing like you see at Indy, but at the same time, we are going to stay closer together than at Milwaukee.”
Are you going to dance again in Iowa like you did in Milwaukee?
“If I have my crazy teammates with me on the stage, anything can happen.” 
Is there an area of your home country that compares to Iowa? If yes, what is it and how is it like Iowa?

“To be honest, I don’t remember much about Iowa. In my first year, I was so focused on racing that I didn’t pay too much attention to anything else.” 

 

“OLIVER WEBB, Driver of the No. 7 Lucas Oil/SSM Car

All the ovals on which you race are different. Can you learn things from the other tracks that will help you in Iowa?
“Each oval is different. Milwaukee and Iowa are short ovals being one mile and 7/8’s of a mile; however, Iowa is very banked. Therefore, we will be flat full throttle in qualifying; whereas, Milwaukee is a very different discipline with lifting in both parts of the course as it’s very flat and more tricky to get around quickly.”
Why will fans see a good race in Iowa?
“Iowa is a very short track and the shortest on the calendar in fact. Therefore, it will be very close racing. There will be a lot to see due to the banking and the tires falling off. There will be some exciting two and three-wide passing going on as the races get into the final stages.”
Are you going to dance again in Iowa like you did in Milwaukee?
“This depends on the crowd and fans!”
Is there an area of your home country that compares to Iowa? If yes, what is it and how is it like Iowa?
“The UK is very rural and has a lot of countryside around the north where I live. I haven’t visited Iowa yet to find out, so I’m looking forward to seeing it before I head back to the UK for the Good Wood Festival of Speed in the south of England.”

 

“ESTEBAN GUERRIERI, Driver of the No. 11 Pistas Argentinas/SSM Car

All the ovals on which you race are different. Can you learn things from the other tracks that will help you in Iowa?
Yes. Basically all ovals have their own characteristics. I think what you learn the most at every oval is how to run in traffic. But again you set your car up with different downforce levels at each of them. So you still have to understand how and where to make the move to overtake.”
Why will fans see a good race in Iowa?
“I think the race will have a lot of cars in a close pack fighting for positions. It’s an oval, and a short one with lots of banking, so it allows you to run two-wide with no problem.”
Are you going to dance again in Iowa like you did in Milwaukee?
“If the weather permits, why not… but this time, we’ll TANGO dance!”
Is there an area of your home country that compares to Iowa? If yes, what is it and how is it like Iowa?
“Actually yes. Iowa is famous for its farming and agriculture. It’s the same for Argentina. It is a country where working with the ground is vital for its economy, just like Iowa.”

“TRISTAN VAUTIER, Driver of the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/SSM Car

All the ovals on which you race are different. Can you learn things from the other tracks that will help you in Iowa?
“For sure, the more oval racing you do the more basic things you learn that can apply to all of them. But all the ovals we go to this year have very different characteristics, and there will be many new things to deal with in Iowa that we didn’t deal with on the other tracks. At Iowa, we’ll have to adjust to the bumps in Turn 1 and Turn 2, and it has more banking than most tracks.”
Will fans see a good race in Iowa?
“Yes, because it’s a super-fast, high-banked track!”
Are you going to dance again in Iowa like you did in Milwaukee?
“Well, if the Fuzzy Vodka girls are up for it, let’s do it again!”
Is there an area of your home country that compares to Iowa? If yes, what is it and how is it like Iowa?
“There are several places in France that look a bit like Iowa. Out in the country in France, there are lots of big fields that look like Iowa.”

Broadcast Information


The Sukup 100 Indy Lights race will be aired in its entirety on NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) at 11:59 p.m. ET Saturday night, June23, which is immediately following the Iowa Corn 250 IndyCar race. Live radiocoverage, as well as timing and scoring, of all on-track activity can be heard at IndyCar.com.


Schmidt Schmidt Motorsports Iowa Notes

  • ^ SSM is the most successful team in Indy Lights with 50 race wins, 51 race poles andfive championships.
  • ^ Vautier leads the 2012 Indy Lights points with 241. He is followed by Guerrieri with 238, Andretti Autosport’s Sebastian Saavedra with 227 and Carbone with 182. Webb is seventh with 148.
  • ^ Carbone, Guerrieri and Vautier have completed all 310 laps of competition so far in 2012.
  • ^ Vautier has finished in the top five in every race (6) in 2012. Guerrieri hs five top-five finishes this year, while Carbone has four top-fives.
  • ^ All four of the SSM Indy Lights drivers have led laps in 2012. Vautier is the series’ leader with 156. Carbone and Webb are tied in third with 25 laps led, and Guerrieri has led nine laps.
  • ^ Esteban Guerrieri’s back-to-back wins at Long Beach and Indianapolis were his fourth and fifth race wins of his Firestone Indy Lights career.
  • ^ Guerrieri has six Indy Lights career poles.
  • ^ Both Carbone and Guerrieri have 20 consecutive Firestone Indy Lights Series starts. Team Moore Racing’s Gustavo Yacaman has 33 consecutive series starts.
  • ^ Vautier’s pole at Milwaukee, was the 51st pole won in that series by an SSM driver. Here is a list of Indy Lights drivers who have won poles with SSM: Thiago Medeiros (8), Travis Gregg(7), Esteban Guerrieri (6), Alex Lloyd (5), Jaime Camara (3), J.K. Vernay (3), Pippa Mann (3), Josef Newgarden (3), Tristan Vautier (2), Wade Cunningham (2), Jay Howard(2), Brand Erwin (1), Sarah McCune (1), Richard Antinucci (1), James Davison (1),Conor Daly (1), Victor Carbone (1) and Oliver Webb (1).
  • ^ Sam Schmidt Motorsports (SSM) was established in 2001 and is owned by former driver Sam Schmidt, who was paralyzed (quad) in 2000 after a testing accident at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla. As a car owner, Schmidt fields cars in the IZOD IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500, and the Firestone Indy Lights championship.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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