By Josh Farmer, IndyCar Reporter
Tony Stewart will be returning to the Indianapolis 500 in May, but not as a driver.
Team One Cure, an arm of the Tony Stewart Foundation, will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda alongside the team’s full-time drivers James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin. A driver was not announced.
Team One Cure supports the Flint Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University which researches cancer treatments for humans and animals. Stewart, a devout philanthropist and animal lover, was taken by the program’s mission and feels that the Indianapolis 500 is the perfect way to raise awareness for the FACC and their partners in comparative oncology.
“We learned that, with the One Cure program, cancer treatment breakthroughs are happening through collaboration between scientists and doctors working with both people and pets,” Stewart said in a release.
“It perfectly fits with my foundation’s missions to help children and animals. Sam Schmidt represents the very best in an injured racer overcoming adversity, plus we share the passion to win at IMS.”
Schmidt, who was paralyzed in an Indy car testing crash in 2000, shares Stewart’s passion for philanthropy. He founded Cure Paralysis Now, an organization committed to curing paralysis through cutting edge research.
“Very pleased to be participating in the 101st Running of the Indy 500 with such a fantastic program as Team One Cure,” Schmidt said.
“Tony is the most generous guy I know in motorsports and his charitable efforts on behalf of children and animals in need is unbelievable, so this is a perfect fit. With the team at Colorado State University making such huge strides in cancer research, this will truly be a cause we can get behind. That, combined with both of our extreme desires to win this race, should make for a really competitive entry.”
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has fielded three cars in the Indianapolis 500 since 2013. Drivers that have raced the third entry for SPM include – Katherine Legge, 1995 winner Jacques Villeneuve, Conor Daly and Oriol Servia.
See Tony Stewart discuss Team One Cure in the video below:
Video Credit: Schmidt Peterson Motorsports