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Feb 11, 2014 - 07:02 AM
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IndyCar News And Notes (2-10): Hamilton Renews Partnership With Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
Posted by: newsla on Feb 11, 2014 - 07:02 AM
IndyCar News
IndyCar News And Notes (2-10): Hamilton Renews Partnership With Schmidt Peterson Motorsports


Today's IndyCar Series and Mazda Road to Indy headlines:

1. Hamilton returns as co-owner of Pagenaud's car
2. Verizon expands partnership with Team Penske
3. Hinchcliffe cheers on Team Canada from a far

 

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1. Hamilton returns as co-owner of Pagenaud's car: Davey Hamilton has renewed his partnership with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for 2014 after a breakout 2013 season saw the team earn its first two IndyCar Series wins and place third in the championship with Simon Pagenaud behind the wheel.

Competing under the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports umbrella, the No. 77 entry will begin its pursuit of the IndyCar Series championship March 30 at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Hamilton returns as a co-owner on the Honda-powered No. 77 car.

"Working with Simon Pagenaud and the entire Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team has been fun because we know that each time the car hits the track we have the opportunity to win," Hamilton said. "This is a true team sport, and having continuity in personnel for the third year in a row will enable us to not only win more races but also contend for a championship."

The relationship between Schmidt and Hamilton dates to 1997 when they were rival competitors in the IndyCar Series and expanded in 2001 when Hamilton debuted as the first driver for Sam Schmidt Motorsports.

"Davey and I go way back, and we think a lot alike," Schmidt said. "From racing against each other, to him driving for me in 2001, to us sharing rehabilitation stories at the bar, we are first and foremost friends. The continuity Davey will bring to the No. 77 car program is essential to the fine-tuning we're doing at SPM for what we hope will be a strong run at the IndyCar championship this season."

When Schmidt and Hamilton teamed up as owners in 2012, they realized success immediately as Pagenaud claimed Sunoco IndyCar Rookie of the Year honors and fifth place in the series championship. Before the 2013 season, Ric Peterson came on board as an equity owner in the team, allowing the operation to expand to a two-car team.

"Last season we surprised a lot of people with our run at the championship, but this year we're back even stronger with key players like Davey Hamilton returning," Ric Peterson said. "Davey's years of experience in the sport are a huge asset for our team, and he will continue to help Schmidt Peterson Motorsports reach new heights."

2. Verizon expands partnership with Team Penske: Verizon will be the primary sponsor of the No. 2 Team Penske car driven by CART champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya for at least eight IndyCar Series races this season.

Verizon will continue its full-season sponsorship of the No. 12 Team Penske car driven by Will Power. Verizon will be the primary sponsor for all three Team Penske entries, including the No. 3 car driven by three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves, for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 10 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

"Verizon has been a terrific partner for Team Penske and we are excited to continue to grow our relationship with them in 2014 and beyond," team owner Roger Penske said. "Verizon's technology and marketing activation has meant so much to Team Penske and the sport of IndyCar racing and we look forward to building on this special partnership in the future."

Team Penske welcomed Verizon as a partner in 2009. That season Verizon served as primary sponsor for the No. 12 car driven by Power in the Indianapolis 500. Since then, Verizon and Team Penske have teamed up for 17 race victories, 25 pole positions and 28 podium finishes.

3. Hinchcliffe cheers on Team Canada from afar: Count James Hinchcliffe among the many Canadians caught up with Winter Olympic fever.

With his home country near the top of the medal table, the three-time IndyCar Series race winner tweeted, "Fully addicted to Olympic action now. #GoCanada"

As for his favorite sport to watch, Hinchcliffe chose two sports that are uniquely Canadian.

"Hockey is the go to, but that aside - and this is going to sound ridiculous - but nothing is quite like an Olympic game of curling," the Toronto native said. "I never watch it any other time, but it's a stereotypical Canadian game that I really get into."

***

The 2014 IndyCar Series opens with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 30 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. The race will be televised live by ABC at 3:30 p.m. (ET) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network, including Sirius and XM Channels 209 and the INDYCAR app for most smartphones and tablets.

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