IndyCar fan-favourite, Sarah Fisher announced her retirement as a driver today.
The 30-year-old, who started racing 25 years ago, is hanging up her helmet so that she can concentrate on running her IndyCar squad that she started with her husband Andy and father-in-law John O’Gara.
Over the years, Fisher competed in several full seasons in IndyCar’s, although her appearances have become somewhat more sporadic in recent years. 2007 represented her best overall finish in the IndyCar Series Championship.
Following a season of consistent runs, the Iowa native claimed 17th in the Series with Dreyer & Reinbold; however her best race result remains 2nd spot at Homestead in 2001 with Walker Racing.
In January 2008, Fisher brought her Sarah Fisher Racing Team to the then Indy Racing League, but in the time since has only competed in a small number of events. This season saw Sarah Fisher Racing expand to a two-car effort, with Graham Rahal running three races and Jay Howard taking part in a further four events.
Although it was thought that she may announce her retirement, it was assumed that Fisher may make one final appearance at the 2011 Indy 500, but it looks at this stage as if Fisher is to remain on the sidelines for the centennial event.
Fisher will be replaced in the driver’s seat by former Vision Racing peddler Ed Carpenter. After the collapse of Vision at the tail end of 2009, it seemed as if Carpenter’s top-flight racing career was finished; however several second-seat drivers for Panther Racing last year elevated Carpenter’s reputation as a solid, if unlucky, oval racer. Carpenter will be running at nine races in 2011.
The car’s primary sponsor, Dollar General, will also be staying on as a backer to the number 67 machine, bring their relationship into its fourth season.
Much of Sarah Fisher’s popularity comes from the down to earth nature that she puts across. Rather than the more overtly serious attitude shown by many within the racing community, Fisher has always appeared smiley and happy, with lots of time for fans. I wish her all the best in the future.
SARAH FISHER RACING PLANNED 2011 RACES
March 28 – St. Petersburg, Fla.
May 29 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
June 11 – Texas Motor Speedway
June 25 – Iowa Speedway
August 7 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
August 14 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway
September 4 – Streets of Baltimore
October 2 – Kentucky Speedway
October 16 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway (TBD)