Holmatro Safety Team and Mike Perry

LEXINGTON, Ohio – Holmatro Safety Team personnel pushing a stalled Verizon IndyCar Series car up a hill and out of harm’s way during the rainy qualifications Aug. 2 for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio didn’t go unnoticed.

“They are the unsung heroes” of INDYCAR, said team co-owner and former Indy car driver Bobby Rahal.

Holmatro Safety Team members were recognized for their service following the long day of on-track activity at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course at the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing hospitality unit.

Through its time-tested procedures and protocols, the Holmatro Safety Team is the leader in motorsports safety and on-track response. It consists of approximately 30 safety personnel with a minimum of 18 attending each event – a trauma physician, an orthopedic physician, two paramedics, 12 firefighters/EMTs and two registered nurses. Team personnel have an average of 22 years of experience in their respective areas.

“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,” INDYCAR track safety manager Mike 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.” 

Mike Perry, a 26-year veteran of the Indianapolis Fire Department who has been a member of the Holmatro Safety Team since 2002, received the Championship Drivers Association Charities award for outstanding achievement and service in the safety and care of drivers.

“It’s like being at the fire station because most of the team members are firemen, too. I have my regular family, my fire department family and these guys are my family,” said Perry, a lieutenant with Station 13 in Downtown Indianapolis. “I enjoy doing what we do, just helping out.”

Maryland-based Holmatro designs, manufactures and supplies innovative hydraulic equipment for rescue, industrial and special tactics applications around the globe. Holmatro tools have been an important resource since INDYCAR's founding in 1996, and Holmatro Inc. became the safety team sponsor in 2010.

“It’s our honor to support the Holmatro Safety Team, which is the only dedicated team in all of this type of racing,” said Dan Reese, president of Holmatro. “It fits with what we do and the class and credibility that the team has fits with what we want to do as well. It’s a great learning experience for both of us. Holmatro gives them resources to do their job on the track and we learn from those opportunities."

Free skate on Mid-Ohio course

Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio grand marshals Jared Boll and James Wisniewski of the Columbus Blue Jackets were passengers for rides on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course in the Indy Racing Experience two-seater driven by Mario Andretti.

"Intense," Wisniewski said.

They gave the command to start engines. Columbus (Ohio) will host the NHL All-Star Game in January.

Of note

The Lap 1 full-course caution was the first yellow flag at Mid-Ohio since the 2011 race. ... Helio Castroneves finished 19th but recorded the fastest lap of the race at 1 minute, 26.9399 seconds (121.616 mph). ... Team Pelfrey manager Nigel Tuckey celebrated driver Nicolas Costa's first Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires victory Aug. 2 by jumping in a pond near the team's transporter. Costa, who competed in a partial 2013 schedule, rejoined the team in May at Lucas Oil Raceway. Garett Grist, who finished ninth in the opening race, won Race 2 in the No. 27 Andretti Autosport car. ... Austin Cindric, who competed in three Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda races at Mid-Ohio, also drove in the Aug. 3 Pirelli World Challenge race. Cindric, 15, the son of Penske Racing president Tim Cindric, was born in Columbus, Ohio, and is the grandson of the late Jim Trueman, who purchased the facility in 1981. His family owned and operated it until 2011.