CP MOTORSPORTS -THE TONY STEWART FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES 2017 INDIANAPOLIS 500 DRIVER
Last month, three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart announced the formation of TEAM ONE CURE - a primary program of The Tony Stewart Foundation. The announcement also confirmed an entry for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500. Now, Team One Cure is pleased to announce the driver of the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) No. 77 entry as Jay Howard.
"I can't begin to tell you how honored I am to have this opportunity," said Howard. "I'm not one to give up on a dream and I have every bit of determination to make this a successful effort for Tony, Team One Cure and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. I'm in the best condition both mentally and physically, and my race craft is on point. We will be more than ready when IMS opens for practice this May."
Like Stewart, Jay Howard started racing go-karts at 7 years of age. Like Stewart, Howard has open-wheel driving experience at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). Further, the two have a huge heart for children and animals - making Howard a perfect choice to represent Team One Cure in its race for potential cures to cancer.
Stewart remarked, "I have every bit of confidence in the skills of Jay behind the wheel. Growing up 45 minutes from the Speedway, the Indianapolis 500 is an important part of my racing history. Participating in this year's race with Jay and Sam through Team One Cure, we will be making a difference in both the 500 and the race against cancer."
Howard, long considered a "driver's driver", claimed the 2005 U.S. Formula Ford Zetec Championship and Rookie of the Year award in his first year racing in the U.S. In 2006, while driving for Schmidt, Howard won the Infiniti Pro Series championship (now Firestone Indy Lights) - an essential stepping-stone to the top-level of American open-wheel racing. He qualified for his first Indy 500 in 2011. More than ready, Howard is poised to return to IMS as an advocate for people and pets battling cancer while pursuing a victory for Team One Cure.
"We are pleased to have Jay competing with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports once again," said SPM co-owner Sam Schmidt. "Given our impressive winning record together in the past, we have high expectations for the 101st Indy 500. Jay is extremely talented in the car as well as being a great advocate for the Team One Cure initiative."
Stewart and Howard share one more passion - working to improve safety and precision in the sport they both love. Howard established a successful driver-coaching program - J. Howard Motorsports Driver Development (MDD), training up-and-coming future stars in motorsports. In 2016, Howard started a SCCA United State F4 Championship team as a team owner, driver coach and overall advisor to the team and drivers within the series.
Team One Cure, in partnership with the Colorado State University Flint Animal Cancer Center, will help educate people about comparative oncology and improve the lives of all cancer patients, whether pets or people.