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Arrow Electronics gets larger role with Schmidt IndyCar team

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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.

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Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

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.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry. Time just published a brief piece by Wallace saluting Hamilton as a trailblazer.

The idea of Hamilton attending the NASCAR season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

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.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).