Arrow Electronics has significantly increased its partnership with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and will enter the 2019 season as the title partner of the IndyCar team.
Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports unveiled its two-car driver lineup Friday at the Pepsi Center in Denver, not far from Arrow’s Colorado headquarters. The team had three Dallara-Honda Indy cars on display, one for James Hinchcliffe, one for new driver Marcus Ericsson and one for injured driver Robert Wickens.
Wickens suffered a spinal cord injury during a crash in August and has been rehabilitating in a Denver facility. The Canadian won’t compete this season but the team displayed the No. 6 Arrow Electronics Honda to signify his ride will be waiting for him if he is cleared to return to IndyCar.
The cars are black and gold, previously seen only on Hinchcliffe’s car. The signature chrome on the cars has been changed to a sleek matte finish.
Arrow and SPM co-owner Sam Schmidt first partnered in 2014 on a semi-autonomous motorcar. Schmidt, a paraplegic, that same year drove the SAM car 152 mph at Indianapolis Motor Speedway using the Arrow technology embedded in the car.
Arrow joined the race team the next season as primary sponsor for Hinchcliffe and used the No. 5 to signify the company’s “Five Years Out” motto that is part of the company vision of “guiding innovation forward to help you create a better tomorrow.”
“This announcement is nothing short of a lifelong dream come true,” said Schmidt, who thanked Arrow Chairman Mike Long and the company for its vision “to create a system that enabled me to get behind the wheel after 16 years of paralysis,” changing his life and that of many others.
“Now, by becoming our team title partner, they have given us the resources to fulfill another lifelong dream to win the Indy 500 and a championship in the IndyCar Series,” he said.
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.