Sam Schmidt

Indomitable

 

 

 

 

Motorsports has its legends and its heroes. On occasion both exist in one person. Though he’d likely show deference at being considered such, Sam Schmidt is just such an individual.

No he didn’t achieve the notoriety of drivers such as Mario Andretti or AJ Foyt. But he has done what many could not imagine: Sam has demonstrated an indomitable heart, overcoming life – altering injuries Thursday, Jan. 6, 2000, due to an accident during Indy Racing League ‘s Open Test at Walt Disney World Speedway. Sam suffered C4/5 spinal injuries: the accident rendered him a quadriplegic.

And yet, that in some ways was only the beginning. Inspired by meeting tetraplegic Formula One team owner Sir Frank Williams, he founded Sam Schmidt Motorsports.

Sam’s Indy Lights team racked up 30 wins in 100 starts. Returning to the Indianapolis 500, Alex Tagliani earned the pole for Sam Schmidt Motorsports in 2011.

Sam Schmidt Paintings

Met Sam for the first time during the Indycar test sessions February, 2016, at Phoenix International Raceway.

I was there due to life-long ties to motorsports and was immediately impressed with Sam and his team.

From that initial encounter I created two originals for Sam:

Hinch Wagon

No. 7 RW&B

View Paintings

Watching Sam work with his race teams is inspiring, humbling. While I’m sure there are moments his condition gets to him, he clearly doesn’t permit it to define him, much less his achievements.

If ever you have opportunity to meet Sam, introduce your self, the encounter will inspire you for a lifetime.

Sam Schmidt – no excuses – a champion by all measures.

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