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Hello Everyone,


While the past few weeks have been busy, they have been full of good times, new memories and the opportunity to reconnect with many friends in the racing community.


As many of you know, Long Beach has always been one of my favorite races and I had the opportunity to travel there to be inducted into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame during race week. I was honored and humbled to be chosen, and to be included with such great drivers as Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Mario Andretti, Parnelli Jones, Brian Redman and Bobby Rahal to name a few.


sam 1357-s


I made my Indy car debut at Long Beach in 1993 and have so many memories from my 18 starts there – great battles on the track and the tremendous fans. My best open-wheel finish was in 2003 when I finished second to Paul Tracy, who was also inducted this year, and I am proud to say that I won here in 2009 in sports cars with Lowe’s Fernandez Racing.


I have to thank Jim Michaelian, President and CEO of the Grand Prix Foundation of Long Beach, and Mayor Foster for allowing me to be a part of this special ceremony – another great memory from Long Beach that I will always treasure.


Earlier this year, I was voted into the Road Racing Drivers Club (RRDC) and had the chance to attend my first RRDC event the evening following the induction ceremony – a dinner honoring Brian Redman. It was a great event and special evening. I had the chance to visit with so many friends that I haven’t seen in some time like Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan, Jimmy Vasser and Gil de Ferran.




Bobby Rahal, who is the President of the RRDC, hosted the evening, and Brian Redman was full of great stories on his legendary career. I left with a tremendous amount of respect for what he and drivers in that era accomplished when the sport was so dangerous with the lack of safety features we have today.


Before I left Long Beach, I also had the chance to spend some time with two truly great friends – Luis “Chapulin” Diaz and Jose Antonio Cortes. Even though I don’t see them as often as I would like, it is like old times whenever we are together. So many great memories.


three amigos


I also want to mention that I was very excited to learn that Michael Jourdain will be competing in this year’s Indy 500, and I will look forward to joining his many fans to cheer him on.


After a visit to McLaren this past weekend, I am now in beautiful Spain with Sergio as he prepares for the Spanish Grand Prix. Sergio is coming off his best result to date with McLaren after finishing sixth in Bahrain, and we expect good things this weekend.


Bahrain was a turnaround race for Sergio. He came under some criticism after China, but I never had doubts about his talent and ability. When you come into a new team, everything is different – the environment, the engineers, even the position of how you are sitting in the car, just so many things that are so new.


To me, Bahrain was a fantastic race, a fantastic run, and I am very proud of him. Sergio had a good battle with Jensen, although there were some risky moves by both drivers at stages which could have put the team in jeopardy for scoring points and that has already been resolved by them. The fight with Alonso was fantastic, and pushing hard to get the last place in points in the final three corners with Mark Webber was really an impressive performance. I know we will see a lot more.


Sergio has never lost his focus or his determination to be successful and to give back to McLaren what they have given him with this opportunity and their huge welcome and full support. He is focused on the job ahead.


I will be with Sergio through the Monaco Grand Prix, and then I will attend the FIA Drivers’ Commission meetings. I was very honored to be asked to be a part of this new commission, which will be led by Emerson Fittipaldi as president and Sebastien Loeb as vice president. I will be part of the Sports Car, GT and Touring Car disciplines division alongside Emanuele Pirro and Yvan Muller.




More to follow and hopefully some fantastic news from the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend.


Thank you for your support,


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