INDIANAPOLIS – Whether it was Indy car wheel rims, crashed bodywork, die-cast cars, a scooter or even coffee, fans found it all and more at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ garage sale on Saturday benefiting Conquer Paralysis Now.
For the first time, fans were able to visit the team’s race shop and purchase many items, some signed by James Hinchcliffe, driver of the No. 5 Arrow Electronics Honda in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Teammate Jack Harvey, who drove the No. 60 AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda for Meyer Shank Racing with SPM this season, stopped by during the day to autograph items as well. Attendees were asked to bring items to be donated to a local food bank.
One buyer, Nick Grimmer from Fishers, Indiana, purchased what appeared to be original Honda aero kit test bodywork from the years of manufacturer kit competition that ended after 2017. His family’s interest in INDYCAR lured him to the sale, but there were other benefits.
“We’re looking for an interesting decorator piece, and our daughter is a big fan and has some connection to INDYCAR and to this particular team,” said Grimmer.
Knowing that his money spent would benefit Conquer Paralysis Now, the nonprofit founded by team co-owner Sam Schmidt dedicated to finding a cure for spinal cord injuries, made Grimmer’s decision to purchase even easier.
“That makes it twice as good,” he said. “Owning a piece of an Indy car is a cool thing and the fact that the money is going to a good charity makes it even cooler.”
The sale had benefits for SPM besides clearing shelf space and helping Conquer Paralysis Now.
“Just like everybody else does, we collect so much stuff over the years, and it was just a really good idea, something to do to involve the community and bring people in,” said Taylor Kiel, SPM’s general manager. “We kind of hit it from a couple of fronts: It’s an opportunity for the fans to come in and see the facilities and see kind of what we do every day, but also to have the opportunity to pick up some cool collectibles along the way.
“I think it’s a pretty novel concept; I support it 100 percent. I think that it’s going to be something we’ll do for years to come, but this is the first swing at it. Some other teams have done it in the past, but I think it’s a great thing.”
Kiel was also proud that proceeds from the sale benefit the charity near and dear to the team, and the donations from attendees will help feed those in the Indianapolis area.
“Anything we can do to support those foundations is a goal for us as a team,” said Kiel. “Sam hosts multiple galas throughout the year (and) all proceeds go to his foundation. He’s just opened up a rehab facility in Las Vegas that is world class and it’s something that the foundation helps support. The things that he’s doing for people with spinal cord injuries all over the world is incredible and Arrow has a big investment in helping him.”