- Jacques Villeneuve will attempt to make Indianapolis 500 starts 19 years apart, bettering Cy Marshall & Roland Free's 17-year gap set in 1947.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

SSM & AFS Partner To Field #17 Entry

UPDATE: Firestone Indy Lights veteran Martin (Plowey) Plowman has confirmed on Twitter that he'll pilot the #17 AFS/SSM entry at Mid-Ohio, Sonoma and Baltimore.

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Sam Schmidt Motorsports and AFS Racing announced today a partnership to run the #17 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc. entry for the remainder of the season, starting at Mid-Ohio.

This is a fantastic win-win for both AFS Racing and Sam Schmidt Motorsports,” said team owner Sam Schmidt. “In our pursuit to develop partnerships and relationships to enable the team to compete with two full-time entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2012, we have secured sponsorship for select races starting with Mid-Ohio, but we didn’t have the equipment or personnel to facilitate the program. Obviously, Gary Peterson and AFS Racing did.

AFS Racing made their IZOD IndyCar Series debut earlier this season running the first four events at St. Pete, Barber, Long Beach, and Brazil with Raphael Matos. The team attempted but failed to qualify for the 33-car field in Indianapolis.

"It will be fun to race with Sam and his team instead of against them for a change,” said AFS owner Gary Peterson. “What is that old saying? If you can’t beat them, join them. Sam and I have had a long, competitive relationship as the two top Firestone Indy Lights teams. We’re both former drivers and team owners, so we can relate to each other. One of Sam’s best qualities, which I share, is his passion to win and succeed."

The driver of the #17 SSM/AFS driver will be announced at a later date.

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