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Andretti snaps up Indy 500 pole engineer

Schmidt added that the team was even planning on running the #99 (driven by Townsend Bell at Indy) as a second car after the next group of three oval races. Schmidt confirmed that he had talked to former Champ Car driver Katherine Legge about taking the seat, but that no deal had yet been done. Longer term the idea is to develop an "experimental" team to try out new pit crews and drivers to help grow the team in 2012.

The headline of Indy 500 qualifying weekend had been Alex Tagliani taking pole position for Sam Schmidt Motorsport, and then how the following week Dan Wheldon went on to pull off a shock win in the centennial Indy 500 itself. That had been in a car run by Bryan Herta Autosport in association with the Sam Schmidt operation, meaning that Allen Macdonald was heavily involved in helping to engineer that car, too.

"I would be remiss if I didn't also mention the technical partnership we had with Sam Schmidt Motorsports," Bryan Herta had said at the post-race winner's press conference. "All their guys: Sam [Schmidt], Allen McDonald, Rob Edwards, Don Oldenburg, all the crew."

Dan Wheldon had echoed the remarks: "Like I said, Sam has a fantastic organisation, we work very well together," he said. "The leadership of [team owners Bryan Herta and Steve Newey], and Allen McDonald, Rob Edwards and Sam Schmidt has been a great relationship."

Michael Andretti will be hoping that come May 2012, even more public praise is being heaped on McDonald - this time for turning around Andretti Autosport's performance.

Related Pictures

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Mike Conway and his team boss Michael Andretti huddle up in pit lane at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after poor weather halts practice on Tuesday, May 17. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Alexander Rossi - Andretti Autosport   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Joe Skibinski]
Santiago Urrutia - Schmidt Petersen Motorsport
Mikhail Aleshin - Schmidt Peterson Motorsports   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Chris Owens]
Mikhail Aleshin - Schmidt Peterson Motorsports   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Mikhail Aleshin - Schmidt Peterson Motorsports   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Chris Jones]
James Hinchcliffe - Schmidt Peterson Motorsports   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
James Hinchcliffe - Schmidt Peterson [credit: Chris Owens]
Carlos Munoz celebrates his first IndyCar pole at Texas Motor Speedway
Alex Rossi, Indy 500 [Credit: IndyCar]
Alexander Rossi - Andretti Autosport
Alexander Rossi - Andretti Autosport [credit: Walter Kuhn]
James Hinchcliffe - Schmidt Peterson [Credit: IndyCar]
James Hinchcliffe - Schmidt Peterson [Credit: Jim Haines/IndyCar]
Marco Andretti - Andretti Autosport [credit: Chris Owens]
Ryan Hunter-Reay - Andretti Autosport   [pic credit: IndyCar media/Chris Jones]
Marco Andretti - Andretti Autosport   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Joe Skibinski]
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates his victory Sunday, March 13, 2016 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is the second year in a row Montoya has won this race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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pukka - Unregistered

June 08, 2011 2:03 AM

Wasted effort and this is in no way a criticism of the engineer but Andretti racing sucks and has so for many moons despite talent and not so talented drivers currently on the team. They will not win next seasons Indy 500. I will take bets on that.

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