During each Arrow Electronics Internet of Things Immersions event, Verizon IndyCar Series team owner Sam Schmidt relays his experience of working with Arrow on machine-to-machine technologies - the same technology that enabled him to drive a modified 2014 Chevrolet Corvette at more than 100 mph on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval last May.
The former Indy car driver, who suffered a spinal cord injury in a 2000 practice crash that left him a quadriplegic, says it was one of the most exhilarating days of his life.
Earlier today, Schmidt announced that Denver-based Arrow Electronics will be the primary sponsor of the No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda driven by James Hinchcliffe during the Verizon IndyCar Series season. The livery will be unveiled tonight at Arrow's Internet of Things Immersions event in San Jose, Calif.
Arrow's IoT Immersions tour brings together technology leaders to discuss comprehensive IoT building blocks and how businesses can leverage Interconnected Intelligence. Innovation led to Schmidt getting behind the wheel of a car again and is at the core of Arrow Electronics and INDYCAR.
"Having Arrow Electronics as a primary team sponsor is just another step in this dream come true," said Schmidt, who co-owns the team with Canadian businessman Ric Peterson. "The company's vision is perfectly aligned with SPM and INDYCAR's key focal points: speed, innovation and technology. We look forward to an exciting race season and a great partnership for years to come."
The season starts March 29 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which will feature the competition debut of innovative aerodynamic bodywork kits supplied by Chevrolet and Honda.
"Our partnership with Sam Schmidt has helped bring to life how technology can help people become the drivers in their own lives," said Aiden Mitchell, vice president of semiconductor marketing for Arrow Electronics. "Working with Sam and sharing the technology behind our modified Corvette C7 in our Immersions series has been a pivotal element in demonstrating the power of M2M technologies and the Internet of Things. We look forward to taking this next turn with SPM and helping to spread the word with a wider Arrow audience."
Hinchcliffe, new to Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for the upcoming season, is a three-time race winner with Andretti Autosport and the 2011 series Rookie of the Year. The team's car number will also be new, as today's announcement confirms a switch from No. 77 to No. 5.
"I'm very excited to drive the No. 5 Arrow Electronics car this season and set our sights on victory lane," said Hinchcliffe, 28, of Toronto. "Although the No. 77 has been part of SPM since 2011, we have an incredible opportunity to spread the word about Arrow's Five Years Out initiative, and coincidentally, we were lucky that the No. 5 was available to further Arrow's brand story.
"The Five Years Out philosophy shows that Arrow sets the bar high and that's exactly what we want to do in the Verizon IndyCar Series," Hinchcliffe added. "Competing in the most versatile racing series in the world means we're focused on technology, which makes this partnership a natural fit."
James Jakes, who also made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in 2011, will drive the No. 7 SPM Honda.