Schmidt Peterson Motorsports co-owner Sam Schmidt said it felt normal as he got back to racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where he competed against IndyCar legend Mario Andretti with the pair driving the Arrow Electronics SAM Corvette.
Schmidt who was paralyzed following an IndyCar accident was the real winner after returning to the track alongside Andretti on Saturday prior to the IndyCar Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Andretti may have won the race, but Schmidt was delighted and speaking following the race he stated:
“It feels normal. “The first time in 17 years I’ve felt normal. There are so many things I haven’t been able to teach my kids to do – to throw a football, to drive a stick shift. To be able to come back and do this kind of stuff makes up for it a little bit.
Schmidt said it felt great to be back racing at 130 mph side by side with Andretti making it extra special. He stated:
It was great. “It was weird. (After) 17 years, driving down the straightaway 130 miles an hour side-by-side was fantastic, and doing it with Mario Andretti was great.
Verizon IndyCar Series legend Mario Andretti who with 52 victories is second on the all time list of winners commented by saying:
Now I can sleep tonight. “I tell you, this one really had me going. I had to shut off all my natural senses because, obviously, you just need all the practice you can get. And they gave me every opportunity, but still, I really wasn’t too sure. I didn’t know how much I could trust myself. I’m just thankful the cars are coming in with all the fenders on.
Andretti remains heavily involved in the Verizon IndyCar Series working as an ambassador with Firestone Racing and working with his son and team owner Michael at Andretti Autosport.