Fan Info - INDYCAR 101 - Safety - Holmatro Safety Team

Holmatro Safety Team

INDYCAR has long been considered the leader in motorsports safety and the Holmatro Safety Team has always reminded itself that remaining static is counterproductive.

Under the supervision of Dr. Mike Olinger, INDYCAR’s director of medical services, and Mike Yates, INDYCAR manager of track safety operations, the Holmatro Safety Team continually evaluates the latest equipment and its on-track procedures.

The Holmatro Safety Team consists of approximately 30 safety personnel with a minimum of 18 attending each event – a trauma physician, an orthopedic physician, 2 paramedics, 12 firefighters/EMTs and 2 registered nurses. Team personnel have an average of 20 years of experience in their respective areas. In addition to INDYCAR events, the Holmatro Safety Team has worked at Formula One, NASCAR and USAC events.

“About 75 percent of our team is comprised of civil servants who are officers in their departments, such as captains, lieutenants and a fire chief, which means they have vast amounts of experience managing people and managing ground scenes and incident command,” Yates said. “Many have bachelor’s degrees in fire science, and we also have people who have gone beyond the scope of their local fire departments by being involved with disaster task force teams.” 

The team travels with four safety vehicles and brings the most sophisticated safety equipment and racing technologies to each race. 

The Holmatro Safety Team works in conjunction with and coordinates the safety personnel staffing each venue, including firefighters, ambulance and tow-truck providers and track maintenance crews. An eight-hour instructional course is held at every new venue on the schedule and the team meets with tracks for update sessions before each event.


Michael Olinger, M.D., who has been a member of the Holmatro Safety Team since INDYCAR’s inception as on-track physician, was named director of medical services for INDYCAR in November 2006.

He replaced Dr. Henry Bock, who had been involved with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway medical team since the late 1960s and INDYCAR since its inception and currently an INDYCAR medical advisor.

Since 1992, Dr. Olinger has been a Deputy Medical Director for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and has assisted in planning and providing emergency medical care for the spectators and participants at the Indianapolis 500, Formula One’s American Grand Prix and NASCAR’s Brickyard 400.

In 2003, Dr. Olinger was recognized with the Safety Award from the Championship Drivers Association.  Dr. Olinger serves as Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine, Director of the Division of Out of Hospital Care and Department of Emergency Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

A graduate of the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1983, Dr. Olinger completed his residency in Emergency Medicine in 1987 at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. He has been the medical director for the Indianapolis Fire Department and Indianapolis EMS since 1991; and a gubernatorial appointee to the Indiana EMS Commission since 1993.

He has been the Medical Director for Marion County’s Urban Search and Rescue Task Force (IN-TF1) since its inception in 1993, and has been on FEMA deployments to the Oklahoma City Bombing, Hurricane Marilyn, the DeBruce Grain Elevator Explosion, the Atlanta and Salt Lake City Olympics, the World Trade Center Incident, the recovery mission of the Space Shuttle Colombia’s crew, the Republican National Convention, and Hurricanes Frances and Katrina.

He has been a member of FEMA’s Medical Working Group for the Urban Search and Rescue Program since 1994, and is currently the chairman of that group. Dr. Olinger is the Chief Medical Officer for the Blue Incident Management Team on FEMA US&R Deployments.

Dr. Olinger has served as Emergency Medicine Faculty at Level-1 Trauma Centers for 16 years, including hospitals in San Antonio, Denver, Methodist Hospital of Indianapolis and most recently Wishard Memorial Hospital of Indianapolis. A Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine, he is currently the Director of the Division of Out of Hospital Care, Department of Emergency Medicine, IU School of Medicine.


Terry Trammell, M.D. serves as a safety consultant to INDYCAR and a member of the Holmatro Safety Team. Trammell has been active in providing trackside medical care since 1973. From 1981-96, he served as orthopedic consultant to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; 1996-2002 orthopedic consultant to CART; 1987-96, Director of Medical Services to CART; 2002-present, spinal surgical consultant to INDYCAR.

He is a founding member of the International Council of Motorsports Science and a founding fellow of the FIA Institute for Motorsport Safety.

He is active in safety research with expertise in the area of spinal biomechanics, injury, and occupant kinematics.

He is a partner in Orthopaedics Indianapolis, Inc., a multi-specialty musculoskeletal care group.