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Press Release: IndyCar Team Owner and Founder of Conquer Paralysis Now Sam Schmidt to Discuss How the Application of Technologies Can Generate Real World Opportunities During HDAW 2019

Date: November 28, 2018

Sam Schmidt, former IndyCar racer and founder of both Conquer Paralysis Now and Schmidt Peterson Motorsportswill join the Terry Fator Theater stage during the Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) opening general session to discuss how the application of innovative motor vehicle technologies led him to overcome incredible odds after an IndyCar crash in 2000. 
Immediately following Daniel Burrus’s keynote presentation to the HDAW audience on how to become a successful anticipatory organization, Schmidt and Burrus will engage in a one-on-one discussion with Sam sharing with the audience how his passion to innovate using technology allows him to race again and why HDAW attendees should embrace technology to benefit their businesses. Attendees will also have the opportunity to engage in a brief Q&A with Schmidt on life, career, and the future of motor vehicles.

About Sam Schmidt: IndyCar team owner and driver Sam Schmidt is an undeniable leader. Following in his father’s footsteps and developing an unmeasured interest in motorsports, Sam had a goal to race in the Indianapolis 500. In 1997, he made his first IndyCar start which was followed by three consecutive Indianapolis 500 races where he netted his first victory from the pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 1999, finishing the year fifth in series points.

In January of 2000, during testing in preparation for the season, Sam suffered a horrendous crash at Walt Disney World Speedway which rendered him a quadriplegic. Though no longer able to drive a racecar, Sam was still passionate about the sport. He founded Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and in 2011, he established a full-time IndyCar racing team which has collected six wins, two Indianapolis 500 pole positions, and three top-five finishes in the championship points standings.

Sam, along with a few close friends, also founded the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation. Known today as Conquer Paralysis Now, they fund global research and support organizations benefiting people with disabilities. 

In May 2014, Sam drove a Corvette Stingray re-engineered by Arrow Electronics over 100 miles per hour around the iconic Indianapolis 500 Oval using a head array to steer and a bite plate to brake. Over the next four years by advancing the technology, he was able to reach 152mph at Indy, participate in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, and he received the first ever semi-autonomous driver’s license.
In 2017 he fulfilled a lifelong dream by racing Mario Andretti in identical Corvettes and pushed the envelope even further by going 192mph at Nellis Air Force Base.

The 14th annual HDAW will be held January 28-31, 2019 at The Mirage in Las Vegas. HDAW is the largest North American gathering of the independent heavy-duty aftermarket industry. More than 2,500 executives and managers from the U.S., Canada and six other countries – including distributors, suppliers, service providers, educators and industry media – attended the 2018 conference in Las Vegas.

HDAW is a business-to-business, executive conference presented by a joint operating committee of industry leaders from 12 distinguished industry associations: American Council of Frame and Alignment Specialists (ACOFAS), Association of Diesel Specialists (ADS), Auto Care Association/ HDDA, Commercial Vehicle Solutions Network (CVSN), HDA-Truck Pride, Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA), APRA's Heavy Duty Remanufacturing Group (HDRG), International Truck Parts Association (ITPA), Overseas Automotive Council (OAC), Power Heavy Duty, Service Specialists Association (SSA), and VIPAR Heavy Duty.

For more information, go to, contact W.T. Glasgow, conference management, at 708.226.1300.