Schmidt Peterson Motorsports names new team president

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Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has a new team president in former JMI executive Jon Flack. The team release with more information is below.

Flack will make his team debut this weekend. James Hinchcliffe is in his usual No. 5 car while Sebastian Saavedra takes over in the No. 7 car.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) announced today an addition to its executive team in Jon Flack. The former Global COO and President, Americas of Just Marketing International (JMI) joins the Indianapolis-based team as the President of SPM.

Jon Flack, an Indiana University graduate, has over 20 years of experience in motorsports marketing including brand strategy, research & measurement, planning, PR & digital, account management and event & experiential marketing. During his 15-year tenure at JMI, Flack oversaw day-to-day operations, annual and long-term planning as well as financial allocations across the business. He has worked with brands Crown Royal, UPS, Verizon, Subway Restaurants, Hisense, AMD, Qualcomm and many others. The Indiana resident has been involved with multiple motorsport series including Formula One, Formula E, NASCAR, IMSA, the Verizon IndyCar Series and NHRA.

As the President of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Flack will oversee the commercial side of the company which has grown considerably through partnerships with Lucas Oil, Arrow Electronics, Microsemi, Cypress Semiconductor and others in the technology sector.

“The addition of Jon to the SPM team is the next logical step in creating an organization capable of winning championships while being industry leaders in the off-track experience for our partners,” co-owner Sam Schmidt stated. “He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of all forms of motorsports which will be tremendously beneficial to our growth. We are excited to have him on board.”

Flack commented, “I’m extremely honored to be joining Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. I’ve watched with interest the past 16 years as SPM have built the organization one step at a time, and I’m thrilled to support the next chapter of the company’s growth and diversification. My Indiana roots run deep so the opportunity to combine my passion for IndyCar with my marketing expertise was simply too good to pass up.”

Flack will make his first trip with the team for this weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto held just 20 minutes outside of the hometown of SPM driver and fan favorite James Hinchcliffe.

Jack Miller wins the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix as Fabio Quartararo stops his downward points’ slide

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Jack Miller ran away with the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi as Fabio Quartararo stopped his downward slide in the championship when a last-lap accident from his closest rival in the standings caused Francesco Bagnaia to score zero points.

Starting seventh, Miller quickly made his way forward. He was second at the end of two laps. One lap later, he grabbed the lead from Jorge Martin. Once in the lead, Miller posted three consecutive fastest laps and was never seriously challenged. It was Australian native Miller’s first race win of the season and his sixth podium finish.

The proximity to his home turf was not lost.

“I can ride a motorcycle sometimes,” Miller said in NBC Sports’ post-race coverage. “I felt amazing all weekend since I rolled out on the first practice. It feels so awesome to be racing on this side of the world.

“What an amazing day. It’s awesome; we have the home Grand Prix coming up shortly. Wedding coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m over the moon; can’t thank everyone enough.”

Miller beat Brad Binder to the line by 3.4 seconds with third-place Jorge Martin finishing about one second behind.

But the center of the storm was located just inside the top 10 as both Quartararo and Bagnaia started deep in the field.

Quartararo was on the outside of row three in ninth with Bagnaia one row behind in 12th. Neither rider moved up significantly, but the championship continued to be of primary importance as Bagnaia put in a patented late-race charge to settle onto Quartararo’s back tire, which would have allowed the championship leader to gain only a single point.

On the final lap, Bagnaia charged just a little too hard and crashed under heavy braking, throwing away the seven points he would have earned for a ninth-place finish.

The day was even more dramatic for the rider who entered the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix third in the standings. On the sighting lap, Aleix Espargaro had an alarm sound, so he peeled off into the pits, dropped his primary bike and jumped aboard the backup. Starting from pit lane, he trailed the field and was never able to climb into the points. An undisclosed electronic problem was the culprit.

For Quartararo, gaining eight points on the competition was more than a moral victory. This was a track on which he expected to run moderately, and he did, but the problems for his rivals gives him renewed focus with four rounds remaining.

Next week, the series heads to Thailand and then Miller’s home track of Phillip Island in Australia. They will close out the Pacific Rim portion of the schedule before heading to Spain for the finale in early November.

It would appear team orders are not in play among the Ducati riders. Last week’s winner Enea Bastianini made an aggressive early move on Bagnaia for position before the championship contender wrestled the spot back.

In his second race back following arm surgery, Marc Marquez won the pole. His last pole was more than 1,000 days ago on this same track in 2019, the last time the series competed at Motegi. Marquez slipped to fifth in the middle stages of the race, before regaining a position to finish just off the podium.

In Moto2 competition, Ai Ogura beat Augusto Fernandez to close the gap in that championship to two points. Fernandez holds the scant lead. Alonso Lopez rounded out the podium.

Both American riders, Cameron Beaubier and Joe Roberts finished just outside the top 10 in 11th and 12th respectively.