The founder of Sam Schmidt Motorsports back in 2001, Sam Schmidt is a former IndyCar driver and current co-owner of Arrow McLaren SP. Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, Sam grew up working on race cars with his father who used to compete in drag racing. Sam’s racing career began at the age of five, competing until he was 10 when his father was injured during a race.
After graduating from Pepperdine University with a BA Business Administration and an MBA in International Finance, Sam continued his racing career in the early Nineties and in 1997 the then 32-year-old embarked on his first season of IndyCar competition. Two years later he took his first pole and race win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as he finished fifth in the 1999 championship.
In January of the following year, during off-season testing at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Sam suffered a massive crash. After being airlifted to a nearby hospital he was later diagnosed as a quadriplegic due to a severe injury on the C-3 and C-4 levels of his spinal cord.
Despite no longer being able to race himself, Sam showed immense courage as within 14 months of the accident he had created the Conquer Paralysis Now foundation as well as Sam Schmidt Motorsports, now Arrow McLaren SP.
Although Sam remains paralyzed from his chest down, his desire for continuous progress – and his passion for racing – remains undeterred. Thanks to technology, as well as his determination to find ways of independence, the 52-year-old has been granted the first license of its kind which allows him to drive a semi-autonomous vehicle. Today Sam, his wife Sheila and their two children, Savannah and Spencer, live in Henderson, Nevada.
Born in Hythe, Alberta, Ric Peterson’s racing career began with stock cars, moving on to open-wheel formula cars which brought him to the Toyota Atlantic Championship in 1991. He also raced in CASCAR, competing in both the Super Series and the West Series. His love of motorsports even led to him assisting in the development of a racetrack in his hometown in 1994.
Not only passionate about motorsports but also an entrepreneur, Ric has founded, influenced and developed companies for over 30 years and holds a seat on a number of executive boards. Following a brief stint of retirement, he is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Oculus Transport Ltd out of Calgary, Alberta, as well as becoming co-owner of Arrow McLaren SP – at the time making it Schmidt Peterson Motorsport – in 2013.
Ric and his wife Penni have been together for over 35 years and are proud parents to three children and grandparents to four. They now live in Calgary and are regular visitors to Indianapolis where Arrow McLaren SP is based.