Rookie driver Josef Newgarden and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) are watching the Olympic Games in London just like the rest of the world, but while the games continue throughout the weekend the team has business to take care of in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
With a little ingenuity, the team has found a simple way to keep the US Olympians and their efforts in London top of mind during IZOD IndyCar action this weekend.
For the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, the No. 67 SFHR Dallara/Honda/Firestone car’s livery will feature “Go USA!” on its side pods.
“I’ve been watching a lot of the Olympics every night,” Newgarden said. “It’s been fun to see how our country’s doing especially since we’ve been knocking it out of the ballpark.”
Newgarden sees similarities between the training athletes go through to compete at the Olympic level and what he does to be at his best in his race car.
“They put their entire lives into their chosen sport,” he said. “Race car drivers are extremely dedicated to the physical training necessary to drive at their peek performance level in the sport and I think that’s exactly what the Olympians do.”
Newgarden’s favorite Olympic sport to watch is swimming, and the 2012 US swim team has not disappointed him.
“I really admire the commitment that each and every one of the swimmers have,” Newgarden said. “It’s been especially cool to see what Michael Phelps has achieved over his career. And now there’s other people like Ryan Lochte coming up and I’ve been watching to see how they do at these Games. I think training for swimming is similar to racing in the total dedication you have to give to the sport in order to compete at that level.”
With US Olympic pride on his car’s sidepods, Newgarden heads to the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio in hopes of capturing a solid result for SFHR.
IZOD IndyCar Series practice at Mid-Ohio begins on Friday, August 3 at 2 p.m. ET. Action continues with qualifications on Saturday, August 4 at 11 a.m. The green flag drops on the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Sunday, August 5 at 1 p.m. The race will be broadcast live on ABC at 12:30 p.m. ET.
“JOSEF NEWGARDEN (Driver – Nashville, Tenn.)
After testing last week you tweeted that you loved driving at Mid-Ohio. What did you enjoy about it so much?
“I think it’s my new favorite road course because it’s a very fast track. It has a lot of high speed and high commitment corners. It’s just a great place to wheel a car.”
Mid-Ohio is a very popular track for race fans to attend. Why do you think it’s so fan-friendly?
“Mid-Ohio is one of those old school tracks where people like to go camping and be there all weekend hanging out with their friends. It’s cool to be able to do that at a couple of races during the year, and I think it really makes Mid-Ohio a special track.”