Canandaigua Motorsports Park cancels Wednesday’s races

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Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park, the site of Saturday night’s fatal racing incident that involved NASCAR superstar Tony Stewart and took the life of sprint car racer Kevin Ward Jr., has announced that it will cancel its slate of races for this Wednesday.

The announcement came in a statement from track promoter Jeremie Corcoran.

In the statement, Corcoran offered his condolences to the family of Ward, the 20-year-old competitor that was struck by Stewart’s car after walking down the racing surface to confront the three-time Sprint Cup champion following an on-track incident.

Corcoran also asked the fans to “hold on to your integrity and have compassion for everyone involved in this,” likely referring to the many opinions that have been lodged since the tragedy took place.

He also thanked the track’s medical staff for their efforts on Saturday and explained why the track’s Facebook page was taken down for a short time on Sunday.

Here is the full statement in its entirety:

Meanwhile, another short track, Plymouth (Ind.) Speedway, has announced on its Twitter account that a planned race by Stewart scheduled for this coming Saturday will not occur.

Yesterday, Stewart did not compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International and was replaced in the No. 14 car by Regan Smith.

During the race, Stewart released a statement expressing his sadness over Saturday’s events at Canandaigua.

IndyCar: Schmidt Peterson Motorsports expands mentoring program for tech school students

Photos: Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
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IndyCar team Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced today that it is extending and widening a unique sponsorship and mentoring program that began last season with students from Lincoln Technical Institute.

The program began last year, with students from several Lincoln Tech branches attending select IndyCar events for an entire weekend.

The students, primarily from auto and diesel training programs, got an insiders experience with the team, taking part in team meetings, watching team workers prepare and service the No. 5 Arrow Electronics Honda of driver James Hinchcliffe, sat on pit boxes during practices, qualifying and, of course races.

The overall experience was to get students more interested and involved in potential careers in the IndyCar field.

“We said at the beginning of last season that we knew our students would benefit and learn from the professionalism and drive of the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team,” Lincoln Tech President and CEO Scott Shaw said. “But the experience they received working with the entire pit crew team and in particular crew member Cole Jagger – a Lincoln Tech graduate himself – went beyond even our own expectations.

“We were grateful for the time they spent mentoring our students, and we are thrilled to once again be part of the racing legacy of team owners Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson.”

Lincoln Tech will once again serve as an associate sponsor on Hinchcliffe’s car for the entire 2018 IndyCar season. In addition, it is expanding its Mentor Program to select students to attend a minimum of nine IndyCar races from six last season.

Students are selected based upon their grade point average, attendance, conduct and overall commitment to becoming outstanding automotive technicians. An interest in IndyCar and a desire to work in the industry is also considered.

One student that took part last season, Tyler Crist of Lincoln Tech’s Denver campus, joined the team at the IndyCar race in Long Beach last April, watching as Hinchcliffe won the event.

“It was the best weekend of my life,” Crist said after the event. “It reminded me of why I joined this field in the first place and to never give up on my dreams.”

Jagger will oversee the expanded mentoring program this season. For Jagger, being involved especially hits home, as he is a graduate of Lincoln Tech’s Indianapolis campus.

“I totally enjoyed working with the Lincoln Tech students that participated in the Mentor Program last year and look forward to meeting this year’s group,” Jagger said. “Being a Lincoln Tech grad, I hope the students realize that if you have a passion for cars, a career in racing is something that’s not out of reach. If I can be an example for them to follow, that makes it even more rewarding.”

In addition to the at-track activities of the mentoring program, several Lincoln Tech branches across the country will utilize CNC computerized machining and manufacturing tools to assist in creating car parts for SPM.

“Through this unique partnership, we’re able to hopefully find the next class of talent that could one day be part of our organization,” SPM president Jon Flack said. “We’re looking forward to another year of the mentorship program and having their students be ‘boots on the ground’ gaining real-life experience with our team.”

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