Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Schmidt Peterson, Enerson legal dispute settled

Leave a comment

The legal dispute between Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Team Enerson Racing, LLC that popped up in the summer of 2016 has been settled between the two parties.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports released the following statement on Wednesday:

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and RC Enerson, as well as RC Enerson’s former Indy Lights sponsor, Team Enerson Racing, LLC, have settled their claims against each other on mutually acceptable terms.

Sam Schmidt stated, “We are pleased to have this situation behind us. For the record, the terms of our contract with the Enersons provided for early exit and that is what happened in this matter. As the terms of the settlement agreement are confidential, we will have no further comment on this matter. RC is a talented driver, and we wish him nothing but the best in the future.”

The “early exit” note in the contract provides a description of what happened last season in the 2016 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires campaign.

Enerson, projected to be a championship contender for his sophomore season in the series after an impressive debut season at only age 18, was hamstrung by a litany of mechanical failures and other issues outside his control through the opening eight races last year with SPM’s Indy Lights team.

With the early exit option activated, Enerson pursued an opportunity in the Verizon IndyCar Series, and signed a three-race deal with Dale Coyne Racing to compete at the Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen and Sonoma road course races in the team’s No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda.

What followed was one of the most impressive three-race debut stretches in recent IndyCar memory. Enerson set the third fastest race lap at Mid-Ohio and was top Honda, and ended only behind Chevrolet-powered Team Penske drivers Will Power and Simon Pagenaud. At Watkins Glen, he made it into Q2 in 11th and ended ninth in the race, while having run as high as sixth early on in the race. Sonoma was a tougher event for both he and teammate Conor Daly.

Enerson was known to be on several IndyCar teams’ shopping lists for 2017, but was unable to secure a seat for this most recent season of competition. He made his Rolex 24 at Daytona debut in the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier JS P217 Gibson, although that race was compromised by electrical gremlins that struck shortly after the green flag.

Enerson still remained active and on site at a number of IndyCar races throughout the season, including doing a mix of pace car and two-seater driving, and has been a key part of the Lucas Oil School of Racing’s growth and development as one of its primary driving instructors. At only 20, he’s still plenty young enough to have a long career in the sport, due to the aforementioned talent and feedback he has at his disposal.

Supercross points leader Eli Tomac finds silver linings in interruption

Leave a comment

Though his Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship charge was put on hold, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a silver lining for Eli Tomac.

Off the road while the season was postponed for nearly three months, the points leader was able to be present as his girlfriend, Jessica, gave birth to their daughter, Lev, on April 26

“A huge blessing for us there,” Tomac told host Mike Tirico during a “Lunch Talk Live” interview (click on the video above) in which he also joked about becoming a pro at busting off diaper changes. “That was one good blessing for us as we had our daughter on a Sunday, that would have been on a travel day coming back from the race in Las Vegas.

NBCSN

“That was probably the only positive out of all this mess was being able to be there for the birth.”

But there also could be more good fortune for Tomac as the series resumes Sunday at Salt Lake City, Utah (3-4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, 4-6 p.m. on NBC).

The final seven events will be held over 22 days in Rice-Eccles Stadium, which sits at just over 4,000 feet.

The elevation could favor Tomac, who was born and lives in Colorado and is accustomed to riding and training at altitude, which is a departure for many Supercross riders (many of whom hail from California and Florida).

COVID-19 TESTING REQUIRED: Supercross outlines protocols for last seven races

“That’s going to be the test for us,” said the Kawasaki rider, who five of the first 10 races this season. “We’re at elevation in Salt Lake, so when you’re on a motorcycle, you have a little bit of a loss of power. That’s just what happens when you come up in elevation. And a lot of guys train at sea level, and we’re at 4,000 to 5,000 feet, so cardio-wise, we’ll be pushed to the limit.

“Most of our races are Saturday nights and back to back weeks, but this go around it’s Sunday and Wednesday, so recovery is going to be key.”

Supercross will race Sunday and Wednesday for the next three weeks, capping the season with the June 21 finale, which also will be shown on NBCSN from 3-4:30 p.m. ET and NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. ET.

Tomac, who holds a three-point lead over Ken Roczen (who also recently visited “Lunch Talk Live”), told Tirico he had been riding for 90 minutes Thursday morning on a track outside Salt Lake City.

“Most of us we can rely on our past riding pretty well,” Tomac said. “The question is if you can go the distance. That’s what a lot of guys have to train on is going the distance. We go 20 minutes plus a lap. That’s what you’ve got to keep sharp is your general muscles. Within two to three days, your brain starts warming up more if you take a few weeks off the motorcycle.”

Here is the schedule and TV information for the rest of the season:

  • Sunday, May 31 (3-4 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4-6 p.m. ET, NBC);
  • Wednesday, June 3 ( 10:00 pm – 1:00 am ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 7 (5-8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 10 (7–10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 14 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 17 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 21 (3-4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC).
Eli Tomac rides his No. 3 Kawasaki in the Feb. 29 race at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia (Charles Mitchell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).