Schmidt Peterson Motorsports head into this weekend’s Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix at ISM Raceway aiming to build on their momentum following an extremely strong opening weekend to the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg.
Robert Wickens in the No.6 Lucas Oil Honda had a dream start to his Verizon IndyCar Series career, claiming the Verizon P1 Award on his debut. The Canadian was forced to retire from the race however that is now behind him and he is ready to move on to the opening oval event of the season.
James Hinchcliffe in the No.5 Arrow Electronics Honda had an extremely strong weekend in St Pete finishing the race just off the podium in fourth place behind his co-host of the Hinch and Rossi podcast, Alexander Rossi.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s race in Phoenix, the Mayor of HinchTown commented by saying:
Obviously Phoenix is a totally different racetrack than St. Pete, but the whole SPM team is pretty buoyed by the performance that we saw out of the whole team in Round 1. So fingers crossed we can keep the momentum going that we started the season with. Of course, everything is new going into the race weekend with the new (aero) kits on a short oval, but we’re all pretty confident that the racing will be better than what we’ve seen there the last couple seasons. That’s the most important thing for us – putting on a show for the fans. Phoenix has been part of IndyCar’s return in a big way, and we want to reward them with a great show. Hopefully, we’ll see the Arrow Electronics and Lucas Oil Hondas up front.
Robert Wickens echoed his team-mates sentiments saying:
“After my first Indy car race in St. Petersburg, it obviously didn’t go quite as planned, but there are still a lot of positives to take away from it. Now I’m looking forward to my first oval race in Phoenix. I don’t really know what to expect; we’ll just take it one session at a time. I think qualifying will be very important, so hopefully, we can do a strong jump there. I just want to make it through my first oval race incident free, hopefully, complete every lap and learn. The dream would be to have the Lucas Oil car in the top 10 at the end.”