There are numerous reasons. She is the prototype for a perfect Indy Car owner in this day and age. She had a journeyman career behind the Indy Car wheel after a spectacular short track career. She always managed to attract sponsorship, fan loyalty and decent rides. She has employed grit and determination her entire career.
When she ended her time behind the wheel she could have done just about anything she wanted, but she stayed in Indy Car and built a bootstrap, sweat equity team that has survived not only the cost of competing but the move away from the kind of racing that made her a star.
The culmination of all of her recent work was a victory in an actual Indy Car event with another lifelong competitive peer of hers behind the wheel. Their win in Kentucky, despite the phenomenal effort of that entire team, was still considered a David Vs. Goliath accomplishment. In victory lane Sarah revealed their primary sponsor was leaving adding bittersweet to the celebration.
As we fast forward to the present day many who are cynical could legitimately predict the possible end of that dream. Between now and then, however, Sarah Fisher Racing has not given up. They have:
-Added a rich, powerful, supportive partner, Wink Hartman, whose Hartman Oil has been a steady associate sponsor of Sarah Fisher Racing for a long time.
-Announced they are constructing a brand new two-story headquarters and race shop right down Main Street in Speedway from the new Dallara plant.
-Have a stated goal of operating a two car team within a couple of years.
Sarah and others, like Sam Schmidt, Dryer & Reinbold, Panther, etc., are setting the gold standard for former drivers with business acumen. Why can’t more former Indy Car drivers take that path? We know it is difficult. The hunt for funding is constant, and just when they find enough to get by they have to compete against the Penskes and Ganassis of the world. Sarah is doing it the right way and for the long haul, and for that she deserves more love and respect than ever. It is people like her who will save the sport from itself. Aligning with folks like Wink Hartman gives the effort the professional credibility it needs to take next steps.
This story is refreshing, particularly as we cringe watching quality folks like Gil de Ferran stumble in every professional role after driving that he takes, Jay Penske not taking after his father, Eric Bachelart selling seats to high bidders, often multiple times throughout the season, Newman-Haas simply throwing in the towel, etc.
So Sarah, keep showing your peers how to do it right. You are the model for a post-Penske, post-Ganassi sport. Thank you for giving racing fans a great reason to keep watching. It is great having a team like Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing to support.