IndyCar team owner Sam Schmidt is considering getting out of racing following the death of his driver Dan Wheldon on the Las Vegas IndyCar finale.
Wheldon died from head injuries sustained in the 15-car pile-up last Sunday, and Schmidt, whose eponymous squad co-fielded the British driver's car with Bryan Herta Autosport at Las Vegas, said that he is now having serious doubts about continuing in the sport.
"I'd by lying if I said I wasn't, but you've got to think about it," said Schmidt, who was paralyzed in an IndyCar crash at Walt Disney World Speedway in 2000. "It's one thing to take the risk yourself and my situation, it's something I was doing since I was 5-years old and I'm still here to watch my kids grow up. It's an amazing parallel between Dan's age and my age when I got hurt and the ages of his kids.
"I'm still in a state of shock, but I just don't know if I can be this tightly associated with something like that in the future."
Schmidt said that the recent death of his Indy Lights team manager, Chris Griffiths, coupled with Wheldon's accident, had put a massive amount of strain on himself and his team.
"It's been a roller coaster," he added "We lost a team member five weeks ago and we're still kind of reeling in that. Winning the [Indy Lights] championship in Kentucky really kind of uplifted the guys' spirits over that, then [to] come here and have this happen. It's pretty trying.
"I'm generally a positive guy, silver lining and everything, but I haven't been able to find a silver lining lately."
Veteran IndyCar racer Davey Hamilton is also evaluating his future, the 49-year-old having only taken in occasional IndyCar appearances since smashing his legs badly in a crash at Texas in 2001 that left him on the sidelines for six years.
"Reality hit again you know," said Hamilton in the immediate aftermath of the accident, having managed himself to avoid the melee that ensued. "It's been 10 years or more since my accident in Texas and we're a bunch of friends here. This is our family and this is what I love and I was fortunate enough to come back. But you know these are sad days. As I try to tell everybody whenever you put a helmet and a fire suit on, it's pretty dangerous and we accept that as racing drivers and we never hope to see this.
"It's [his driving future] been a question anyway a little bit just because I'm not a full-time guy and with my leg injuries I can't race the road courses anymore. Ovals, I can still get it done and I've felt I'm having a lot of fun. But it's time for me to rethink and I have some things up the pipeline; do some team ownership maybe, I have a great sponsor and we are going to re-evaluate."