INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 31, 2011) – When talking about Sam Schmidt Motorsports (SSM), the conversation can quickly turn into a discussion of numbers. And, with four cars entered in every Firestone Indy Lights Series race so far this season, SSM can produce several numbers to digest every race weekend.

The following are some numbers generated to help preview this Sunday’s Baltimore Grand Prix for SSM:

                 12       The number of turns on the 2.4-mile Streets of Baltimore circuit.

                      4          The number of championships Sam Schmidt Motorsports has won in the Firestone Indy Lights Series.

                      56       The age of fellow Indy Lights driver Willy T. Ribbs, who will be racing this weekend in Baltimore. SSM’s oldest Indy Lights driver is Esteban Guerrieri at age 26. Guerrieri drives the No. 7 Lucas Oil/SSM car.

                      3          The car number of SSM’s youngest driver, Victor Carbone from Brazil. He drives the No. 3 Nevoni/SSM car and is 19 years of age.

                      45       The number of wins that SSM has in Firestone Indy Lights competition, with 11 of those wins coming in 2011.

0               The number of IZOD IndyCar Series races that have taken place in Maryland.

                      1.125  The distance, in miles, of Laurel Speedway, a 1920s-era oval board track that played host to AAA-sanctioned championship open wheel racing. It was also called the Baltimore-Washington Speedway and its first race was on July 11, 1925. SSM mechanic Mike Meyer is the great-great grandson of Indianapolis 500 winner Louis Meyer, who was also a board track champion in the 1920s.

                      4          The number of race wins SSM driver Josef Newgarden has so far this year. Newgarden, from Hendersonville,
Tenn., drives the No. 11 Copart/Score Big/Robo-Pong/SSM car and also has two poles this season.

                      6          The number of cars team owner Sam Schmidt will have in the Baltimore paddock. In addition to the four SSM Indy Lights cars, Schmidt has two cars entered in the IZOD IndyCar Series race Sunday for Alex Tagliani and Martin Plowman.

                      1          The number of races SSM Indy Lights driver Conor Daly has won this year behind the wheel of the No. 77 Mazda Road To Indy/SSM car. The second-generation driver has only started four races this year because he has been splitting his season between Indy Lights and the GP3 series in Europe.

                      68       The number of points by which Newgarden (first) leads Guerrieri (second) in the Firestone Indy Lights championship.

                      6          The number of Sunoco Pole Awards Guerrieri has won in 2011. He also has three race wins.

                      35       The number of laps around the 2.4-mile Streets of Baltimore circuit that the Indy Lights drivers will race on Sunday.

                      3          The number of drivers in this weekend’s IZOD IndyCar Series race who graduated from Indy Lights after driving for Sam Schmidt. They include Ana Beatriz, James Hinchcliffe and Martin Plowman.

The Grand Prix of Baltimore Firestone Indy Lights race begins at noon EDT Sunday and can be watched live on Versus. It would be a good idea to keep a calculator ready to crunch some more numbers.

Victor Carbone, Driver of the No. 3 Nevoni/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara:

Baltimore is the last street course of the year. How much have you enjoyed the diversity in this year’s schedule?

“I have enjoyed the schedule this year because, before this year, I had never driven on an oval or street course. It’s been a big learning curve this year for me. Sometimes it has been very hard, but it has forced me to try different things to learn as much as I could. For example, on an oval, you have to switch your mind because everything is completely different from road racing. Street courses are also really different, so for me, I have learned a lot. But I have enjoyed a lot learning new things this year

 

What did you do with your extra week off?

 

“I took advantage of the break to train really hard to become physically stronger in the car.”

 

With no data on this circuit, how important are the track walk and the very first session?

 

“The track walk will be very important because you can’t tell on the paper map how wide the track really is in certain places. The engineers will discuss and confirm with me what gears to actually run while walking the track. The track walk also helps you learn the circuit as quickly as possible in that first session.”

Esteban Guerrieri, Driver of the No.7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara:

Baltimore is the last street course of the year. How much have you enjoyed the diversity in this year’s schedule?

 

“A lot. It’s great fun and a big challenge for me to have to re-adapt to so many different types of racetracks. It’s the perfect preparation for a driver who aims to drive an Indy car in the near future.”

With no data on this circuit, how important are the track walk and the very first session?

 

“The more work you can do to understand the circuit, the better it is. Obviously, after the very first session, you will know a lot more, like the bumps, the grip, the braking points and all the little details. But then, it is also important to keep pushing yourself when you are out of the car to do the right analysis.”

 

Talk about the win you had in the Buenos Aires 200km touring car race in Argentina during your off weekend.

 

“It was the perfect weekend. It was a nice responsibility to drive the official Toyota team car and it all went to perfection. I am very pleased because I not only achieved a personal challenge, I also helped the team and my teammate score big points to put them in contention for the title.”

Though it was in a Touring car, how much does driving other types of racecars help you competitively?

 

“As I said in my previous answer, it helps me to focus on new challenges. For sure, driving a Touring car is totally different from driving a single-seater. But that’s the nice point. The level of concentration required to focus on the details of driving a new car on a new circuit is enormous because there is not much time for adaptation. So, I really enjoy that. Competing against myself or pushing myself is what drives me competitively.”

 

Josef Newgarden, Driver of the No. 11 Copart/Score Big/Robo-Pong/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara:

Baltimore is the last street course of the year. How much have you enjoyed the diversity in this year’s schedule?

“The diversity this year has been amazing and it’s certainly been one of the things that has been so great about Indy Lights. It’s such a good stepping stone for drivers because they learn how to be more well-rounded drivers for the IndyCar Series. Obviously, if you want to be a good IndyCar driver you need to be a diverse, knowledgeable driver for all different genres of racetracks, you could say. So, I’ve enjoyed all the challenges we’ve had to meet and learning how to adapt to those different challenges. I think it is great training for anyone with a future in the IZOD IndyCar Series.”

What did you do with your extra week off?

 

“The extra week off was great. It certainly helps you refresh your mind. For me, it’s been very nice coming off a win with the team. I’m sure the guys enjoyed that, as well. You’re able to do a little bit more training to try and get yourself more fit going back to a road course, where you might get a little more beaten and banged up in the cockpit. I’ve definitely gotten more rest but also more training, as well, and that’s always nice.”

 

With no data on this circuit, how important are the track walk and the very first session?

 

“Baltimore is going to be the most difficult race we go to this year. Certainly, the layout looks very interesting with the railroad tracks put in the mix and the chicane trying to slow us down before that. With no one ever being there, that is the biggest element. At Edmonton, the circuit was new but it was at a venue on a surface where INDYCAR has raced before. The layout was different, but it wasn’t a completely new circuit like Baltimore is. So, it’s going to be a very big challenge for everyone to get that right with gearing and all the other packages like suspension and everything that makes the car work so well around a street course. So, it’s going to be interesting to get all that right as quickly as possible and important for the drivers to learn the circuit as quickly as possible.”

Conor Daly, Driver of the No. 77 Mazda Road To Indy/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara:

Baltimore is your last Indy Lights race this year. How much have you enjoyed the street circuits on the Indy Lights schedule?

 

“Every street course we’ve done this year has been fantastic. I wish I could have made it to Toronto and Edmonton, but I still feel really lucky to have raced on all the great tracks I’ve done so far. Since Baltimore is a brand new track, it’ll be very interesting to see how everyone gets up to speed. It should be a lot of fun. I’m going all out to end my Indy Lights season on a high note

 

With no data on this circuit, how important are the track walk and the very first session?

 

“The track walk will be crucial because, as a driver, I have to be as prepared as possible before getting into the car for the first practice. Being over-prepared helps you take full advantage of practice. When we get to practice, it will be very important not to make mistakes, and to stay on track and do as many laps as possible.”

How has racing the GP3 and the Lights car at the same time this year helped your overall driving improve?

 

“GP3 has been a completely different experience for me, but I think it’s helped me a lot. With 30 drivers all within about a second depending on the track, it’s really taught me to focus on the perfect lap for qualifying and any new tire run. The racing over there has been extremely competitive, so my race craft has improved, as well. My SSM teammates are very quick, though, so it’ll be another very competitive weekend in Baltimore, no doubt.” 

 

Meet the No. 3 Nevoni/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Team

 

Driver: Victor Carbone

Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil

Chief Mechanic: Derrick “Tex” Stepan

Hometown: Cypress, Texas

Engineer: Kent Boyer

Hometown: Yorkville, Ill.

Mechanic: Kevin Conley

Hometown: Richmond, Ind.

Tire Specialist: Steve Kisner

Hometown: Danville, Ind.

 

 

Meet the No. 7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Team

 

Driver: Esteban Guerrieri

Hometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Chief Mechanic: Dave Higuera

Hometown: Costa Mesa, Calif.

Engineer: Tim Neff

Hometown: Surfers Paradise, Australia

Mechanic: Taylor Kiel

Hometown: Indianapolis

Tire Specialist: Chad Potier

Hometown: Santa Barbara, Calif.

 

 

Meet the No. 11 Copart/Score Big/Robo-Pong/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Team

 

Driver: Josef Newgarden

Hometown: Hendersonville, Tenn.

Chief Mechanic: Sean Birmingham

Hometown: Torrance, Calif.

Engineer: Doug Zister

Hometown: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Mechanic: Mike Meyer

Hometown: Westfield, Ind.

Tire Specialist: Carlos Fernandes

Hometown: Macau, South China

 

 

Meet the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Team

 

Driver: Conor Daly

Hometown: Noblesville, Ind.

Chief Mechanic: Jason Robb

Hometown: Romeo, Mich.

Engineer: Chris Finch

Hometown: Hoffman Estates, Ill.

Mechanic: Max Neyron

Hometown: Montreal, Canada

Tire Specialist: Brad Kreutzer

Hometown: Las Vegas