In the biggest move to date for the 19-year-old organization, Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson have relaunched their NTT IndyCar Series team as ‘Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ in deference to new title sponsor, Arrow Electronics.
The expansion of the relationship between Arrow and SPM, which began in 2013, has seen the Denver, Colorado-based technology firm grow from partnering with Schmidt to create the ‘SAM Project’ using a Corvette fitted with Arrow’s electronics that allowed the quadriplegic team owner to drive the car without the use of his hands and feet, to sponsoring one SPM Indy car, to its current role as the team-wide primary sponsor.
“This announcement is nothing short of a lifelong dream come true,” Schmidt said. “[Arrow chairman, president and CEO] Mike Long and the entire team at Arrow first had the vision to create a system that enabled me to get behind the wheel after 16 years of paralysis which, in and of itself, has changed my life and the lives of millions worldwide.
“Now, by becoming our team title partner, they have given us the resources to fulfill another lifelong dream to win the Indy 500 and a championship in the IndyCar Series.”
Said co-owner Ric Peterson: “We couldn’t ask for a better partner for our team than Arrow. They’ve been by our side the last four years through the highs and lows, always pushing us closer to our goal: becoming Champions. We’re very excited for this next chapter of Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.”
As part of the Arrow SPM rebranding, both of its Honda-powered entries will carry matching black and gold liveries for James Hinchcliffe in the No. 5 and his new teammate Marcus Ericsson in the No. 7.
“[When] we started this journey, Arrow was maybe $300 million in sales with automotive companies; we’re almost $3 billion now,” Long said. “This relationship has given us credibility with the automotive manufacturers. It keeps our engineers sharp because in IndyCar you’re dealing with milliseconds, you’re not dealing with seconds.
“Anything we can do to help this team win is what we want to do. I think we also want to build an iconic brand in automotive – just like the old days when you saw Marlboro out there, that’s what we’re striving for. Arrow Schmidt Peterson is our way to do that.”
Long joked, “We’ve got a good driver at least somewhere in here, and since only one can win the Indy 500 we’re expecting one of them to do it. All in all we’re as happy we can be. We have a great set of drivers, good attitude, good representatives for Arrow. Wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Three Arrow SPM Hondas were unveiled today at the Pepsi Center, including Robert Wickens’ No. 6, which will be ready for the injured driver whenever he’s able to return to the cockpit.