Sam Schmidt and Davey Hamilton confirmed at Sebring on Monday that they have formed a partnership to strengthen Schmidt's IZOD IndyCar Series program. Schmidt/Hamilton Racing will field an HP-backed Dallara Honda for Simon Pagenaud this season.
“I'm thrilled to welcome Davey to the team,” said Schmidt. “I've known Davey for what seems like forever, and he's a great friend who is trusted and liked by everyone. He's also experienced in just about every facet of the racing business, so he'll be a huge asset for the team. Most importantly, I know him as a fierce competitor who has battled life's challenges both on and off the track. We can relate to each other like no one else I have met.”
“I'm very excited about this new opportunity with Sam,” Hamilton said. “Nobody has worked harder to get to Victory Lane in the series than Sam, and I want to help make that happen."
Hamilton drove full time in the series from 1996-2001, finishing runner-up in the championship in the 1996-'97 and 1998 seasons. Nebraska native Schmidt was a full-time driver in the series from 1997-'99. Hamilton finished fourth in the 1999 series standings, four points ahead of Schmidt.
After Schmidt was paralyzed in a testing accident in 2000, he created Sam Schmidt Motorsports. The team made its IZOD IndyCar Series debut in 2001, with Hamilton behind the wheel. Hamilton made five starts for the team, including the 2001 Indianapolis 500, before suffering serious leg and foot injuries in a race crash in June 2001.
He returned to the cockpit at the 2007 Indianapolis 500 and raced at Indy every year through 2011, with selected other IZOD IndyCar Series starts. While driving part time, his Davey Hamilton Racing squad fielded entries in Firestone Indy Lights and short-track oval racing competition.