The 2013 Indianapolis 500 weekend is one that 18-year-old Kyle O’Gara has had marked on his calendar for a quite a while. After long, arduous years of studying for exams, navigating his way through the halls of Roncalli High School, May 24, 2013, is the day of his high school graduation. Now he has another reason to remember the weekend.
Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing announced that O’Gara, team development driver, will enter the Firestone Freedom 100 on Carb Day in a partnership with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. He will run the No. 67 entry, with the design of his helmet proudly displaying his school’s colors.
“I’m very happy to be a part of this partnership,” O’Gara said. “When they put an opportunity like that in front of you, you can’t turn that down. That’s something that I always wanted to do, and I’m looking forward to it.”
One of O’Gara’s sponsors for the race, SportEvents.com, is providing tickets to the race to each student at Roncalli High School. The team made the announcement at the school auditorium filled with his fellow students, and the news that they would all be attending to support him on was greeted with loud cheers.
Team owner Sarah Fisher, also O’Gara’s sister-in-law, was also on hand to discuss the news.
“I’ve been watching Kyle and working with him since he was about eight-years-old,” Fisher said. “So to take him to Indianapolis has been a very personal goal of mine and also of my husband Andy, Kyle’s older brother.
“Andy has worked incredibly hard to put this together, and he’s been with Kyle day in and day out during his whole career, and to see the two of them working together has been an amazing experience for myself.”
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has won seven of the 10 runnings of the Firestone Freedom 100, a Carb Day tradition. Most recently in 2012, Esteban Guerrieri won the race from the back of the field. The day after the race, O’Gara will also run a USAC Midget Series race at Lucas Oil Raceway in the Night Before the 500.
O’Gara will test with the series at Auto Club Speedway in late April following the series’ race at Long Beach, and also again at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May. He tested a Firestone Indy Lights car at Kentucky Speedway last year with Fan Force United.