FAZZT Race Team is no more. Longtime Firestone Indy Lights team owner, and former full-time IZOD IndyCar Series team owner, Sam Schmidt, has purchased the assets of the young team.
"This is a fantastic time for me, my family and everyone at Sam Schmidt Motorsports," said Schmidt "Though we competed in the IndyCar Series in 2001 and 2002, I can now admit we were naive in our understanding of what it took to be successful at the top level of open-wheel racing in the United States. Ten years later, I have a much better understanding of what it takes to go Indy car racing."
FAZZT Race Team competed full-time in their freshman season in 2010, but after management changes and other issues the 2011 season was in doubt. Schmidt will retain the FAZZT staff including driver Alex Tagliani for a full-season IZOD IndyCar Series effort using the #77 and under the Sam Schmidt Motorsports banner.
"We have worked hard to accomplish what we have in the Firestone Indy Lights series and, most importantly, we have built a team around a group of great individuals," Schmidt said. "That, combined with the excellent talent base at FAZZT Racing, should create a powerful combination. This in no way will interrupt our plans to compete strongly for the Indy Lights championship, and we all look forward to the challenge of being equally as competitive in the IZOD IndyCar Series."
Within the last two weeks Schmidt announced three part-time IZOD IndyCar Series drives in addition to his multiple car Firestone Indy Lights lineup in 2011. Townsend Bell will run a late season oval and alongside Jay Howard under the 'Sam Schmidt' unbrella at Indianapolis. Firestone Indy Lights veteran Wade Cunningham will also turn his first laps in an IndyCar with the team when competing at Kentucky, Las Vegas and in the twin races at Texas.