Marshall Pruett photos
The bigger teams in the IndyCar Series might grab most of the headlines, but there’s still plenty of news to be found with rising programs like Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.
The Sarah Fisher- and Wink Hartman-owned team is coming off of its most competitive season to date, with driver Josef Newgarden splitting KV Racing’s Simona de Silvestro and Andretti Autosport’s EJ Viso in the standings. The 22-year-old Tennessean earned the team’s first podium on a road or street course at Baltimore (BELOW), and backed it up with three fifth-place finishes during his sophomore season in the No. 67 Honda.
SFHR recently lost engineer Nathan O’Rourke to Andretti Autosport, which is a setback the team will need to get sorted, and Newgarden, who broke his finger in a crash at Sonoma in 2012 and suffered a sports hernia at some point last season, is on the mend, giving Fisher a chance to get her team’s infrastructure in place before getting our for some off-season testing.
?Things are ramping back up for us right now,? she told RACER. ?Josef is recovering right now after having reconstructive surgery on his finger and he’s recharging his batteries overall. We plan on heading to Sebring on Dec. 18 to get some testing in before the end of the year and we’re also looking for a race engineer solution. Nathan, as you know, went to Andretti to engineer James Hinchcliffe, and that’s a great opportunity for him, so we’re evaluating what’s best for us and what direction to take moving forward. We’re looking to see who’s out there, if there’s someone ready to fill that spot, but we don’t want to rush into anything there. We’ll have a decision by the time we go testing in December.?
Fisher and Hartman welcomed a second entry to the SFHR stable in partnership with Steve Weirich at Sonoma with the hope that it would become a full-time entry next season. At the moment, however, expanding to two cars looks unlikely, according to Fisher.
?There hasn’t been any movement on that, to be honest,? she said. ?We put an agency in place on the sponsorship side, so that’s exciting for us; Wink has invested in that, so we’re hoping that will help us to find more sponsors and partners.?
Just as RACER revealed earlier today with the Barracuda Racing team and its plans to continue with Honda, Fisher and Hartman are looking forward to forging an even closer relationship with the team at Honda Performance Development in 2014.
?Our contract is back and ready to go,? Fisher affirmed. ?Once [Honda] figured out their game plan for next year, they reached out to us and I think we were one of the first they came back to and that’s going forward. I’m pretty excited, and we’ll be working with them on some of the project they have going on, so there should definitely be a strong relationship with Honda and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing that continues.?