The video game DOOM revolutionized gaming as we know it.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway has left an indelible mark on the world of racing.
And for those paying attention, the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team has been introducing innovation into their program and to all of us, in stunning fashion – particularly over the last year.
They are all game-changers. Which is why it makes perfect sense that they are all converging over this lovely Month of May.
Since 1993, DOOM has evolved from a computer game introducing users to 3-D graphics into a gaming franchise spanning more than 2 decades. The growth of DOOM was not limited to desktops, laptops and living rooms however… it made it’s way to the silver screen, onto bookshelves in form of novels, and even took the form of a board game in 2005. The latest adventure for the DOOM franchise is the Verizon IndyCar Series as it takes form on the livery of the No. 7 Honda, piloted by SPM driver Mikhail Aleshin.
Aleshin was on hand Thursday morning, along with Sam Schmidt, for the unveiling of the aforementioned race car. The DOOM livery creates an aggressive appeal, in a similar fashion to that of Hinchcliffe’s golden stallion… or as he likes to call it, Black Beauty. Both DW-12’s sport flames on the side – Aleshin rocking the red & black, Hinch the gold and black. I had anticipated the unveiling of the SPM w Marotti Racing No. 77 to follow suit with the theme but Oriol Servia will be piloting a classic white livery with his Lucas Oil and Jahia Solutions Group co-sponsors prominently displayed. It’s sleek and tastefully done, but I was honestly expecting a three-prong attack with the flame-liveries.
Schmidt was still a triple threat though, essentially conducting back-to-back-to-back press conferences. The last of those was revealing the SPM garages. He admitted that this was a vision of his for awhile… and it is truly that, a vision. When the doors lifted, the first thing we all saw were the yard of bricks on the floor. Decal in form of course, but detailed and exquisite nonetheless. The next thing that came into view was the No. 5 Arrow-sponsored Honda of James Hinchcliffe… except we were looking at the side of it, not the back end. Wait… what? Yes, Schmidt has flipped the script. And turned the cars. The SPM garage looks like a showcase floor for the three Hondas, not a working facility. Everything technical – from tools, car parts and even the office space is hidden – which brings us to the next thing we all saw: the back and side wall. The length of seven garages, the wall is decked out with flat screen tvs and a mural of sorts – the pagoda (original and current), Sam’s ARROW Corvette, the field of 33, ARROW’s Five Years Out “Innovator’s Club” logo, iconic cars from the 500’s past, and of course this year’s cars and sponsors. It’s truly something to behold.
As I said earlier, game-changer. Other teams will take note and want to innovate – and that’s what makes this sport great, separate teams in constant competition, always pushing one another to be better. Well done Sam Schmidt, you’ve raised the bar in IndyCar and set a new standard in yet another element of our series.
In regards to IMS itself, the changes to seats, upgraded and new suites and gates, and the attention to details in renovations that the Project 100 brain-stormers and project managers have put into the Speedway, is going to make this Month of May one to remember for ages. As the fans start rolling in this weekend for the Angie’s List of Grand Prix, next weekend for the Indianapolis 500 qualifying rounds and then on Memorial Day weekend for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Oil, they will breathe new life into this already living testament to the sport of racing. You feel it when you walk in the gate and through the tunnel to the infield. The energy is there… so get here, experience it, feel it and give it right back… because that’s how and why this track continues to grow every year and why it effortlessly plays such an dynamic role in all things fast.