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.