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Jeff Simmons (racing driver)

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Jeff Simmons (born August 5, 1976, in Hartford, Connecticut) is an American race car driver,[1] most recently driving open wheel cars in the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series.[2]

Jeff Simmons
NationalityUnited States American
Born (1976-08-05) August 5, 1976 (age 43)
Hartford, Connecticut
Related toChris Simmons (brother)
IRL IndyCar Series
Years active2004, 2006–2008
TeamsMo Nunn Racing
Patrick Racing
Rahal Letterman Racing
A. J. Foyt Enterprises
Starts26
Wins0
Poles0
Best finish16th in 2006
Previous series
2000, 2003–2006, 2008Indy Lights
Awards
1999Team USA Scholarship

Early careerEdit

Simmons began his professional career in the Barber Dodge Pro Series in 1998. In his first season, he won the rookie of the year and the series championship, becoming only the second rookie ever to win the title. The "Career Enhancement Award" of $250,000 that went with the title was not enough to secure him a ride at the next level, Indy Lights, so he returned to Barber Dodge in 1999. He successfully defended his championship and in so doing became the only person ever to win the championship twice. With two "Career Enhancement Awards" ($500,000) behind him he moved up to the Indy Lights with Team Green in 2000, finishing 7th overall. When Michael Andretti joined Team Green to form Andretti Green Racing, the Indy Lights effort was disbanded. Simmons tested at the end of that year with the 2000 Indy Lights champs, PacWest Racing. However, Simmons’ lack of funding left him without a team for both 2001 and 2002. He made his return to racing in 2003 in the Infiniti Pro Series, leading his first race back and ultimately finishing 2nd in the championship with 2 wins. In 2004, Simmons once again lacked the sponsorship needed for a full-time ride, However, AJ Foyt put him in his Infiniti Pro Series car at Indianapolis where the finished 2nd. That led to Mo Nunn giving him a chance to qualify his second car for the Indianapolis 500, which he did, with just 37 laps ever in an IndyCar, and finished 16th in the race. He made one additional start that year for Patrick Racing after the retirement of Al Unser, Jr. at Kansas Speedway. He put the Patrick car in the highest position it had seen all year and was set to record a top-10 when he was taken out by two of his competitors. Unable to find a ride in IndyCar for 2005, he returned to the Pro Series, finishing second in the series championship with 4 victories for Team ISI/Kenn Hardley Racing.

IndyCar SeriesEdit

Expecting another season in the Pro Series in 2006, those plans were turned upside down when Paul Dana was killed in a practice crash before the first IndyCar series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on a weekend where Simmons won the IPS race.

Simmons was rewarded for his resilience when Rahal Letterman Racing announced April 4, 2006, he would drive the No. 17 Ethanol-sponsored PanozHonda effective April 22 in Motegi and was eligible to compete for the Rookie of the Year award, although he was no longer an Indy 500 rookie due to his start in 2004. He contested the remainder of the 2006 IRL IndyCar Series season and finished 16th in series points despite missing the first two races. His best finish in 2006 was 7th place at Nashville Superspeedway and Infineon Raceway.

 
Simmons practicing his Foyt Enterprises #41 car for the 2008 Indianapolis 500

For the 2007 season, Simmons was joined at Rahal Letterman by IRL veteran Scott Sharp. The season saw the team hampered by engineering and mechanical issues ultimately resulting in a lawsuit by Sharp against the team and its owners. Simmons led the Indianapolis 500 that year and ran in the top-5 most of the race until rain forced an early end to the event and Simmons to finish in 11th. On July 19, after 11 races, Simmons was let go from the team, who replaced him with fellow American Ryan Hunter-Reay.

In February 2007, Jeff became engaged to WTHR Sunrise reporter, Stephanie Soviar. They were married in September of that year, but ended up getting divorced in April 2010.

Simmons returned to the Indy Lights Series (formerly the Indy Pro Series) at the beginning of the 2008 season, driving for Team Moore Racing. He was given a chance to return to the IndyCar Series, albeit temporarily, to drive a second entry for A. J. Foyt Enterprises in the 2008 Indianapolis 500 and qualified 24th. He quickly moved up the field in the race until a pit lane incident damaged the car. A mechanical failure finally sent him into the wall during a caution period, resulting in a 28th-place finish.

Motorsports Career ResultsEdit

American open–wheel racing resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Complete USF2000 National Championship resultsEdit

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Pos Points
1997 Falcon Racing Services  
WDW
 
STP
 
PIR
 
DSC1
 
DSC2
 
SAV
 
PPI
 
CHA1
 
CHA2
 
MID
45
 
WGI
5
 
WGI
6
N.C. N.C.

Barber Dodge Pro SeriesEdit

Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Rank Points
1997  
STP
 
SEB
 
SAV
27
 
LRP
 
MDO
 
WGI
10
 
MIN
 
MDO
 
ROA
 
LS
7
 
REN
 
LS
??? ???
1998  
SEB
 
LRP
10
 
DET
1
 
WGI
1
 
CLE
3
 
GRA
2
 
MDO
26
 
ROA
5
 
LS1
2
 
ATL
1
 
HMS
2
 
LS2
2
1st 158
1999  
SEB
5
 
NAZ
2
 
LRP
20
 
POR
1
 
CLE
3
 
ROA
1
 
DET
24
 
MDO
2
 
GRA
7
 
LS
1
 
HMS
4
 
WGI
5
1st 152

Indy LightsEdit

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Rank Points
2000 Team KOOL Green  
LBH
4
 
MIL
7
 
DET
9
 
POR
3
 
MIS
15
 
CHI
7
 
MDO
6
 
VAN
3
 
LS
3
 
STL
14
 
HOU
11
 
FON
6
7th 88

Indy Pro SeriesEdit

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Rank Points
2003 Keith Duesenberg Racing  
HMS
14
 
PHX
5
 
INDY
4
 
PPIR
2
 
KAN
14
 
NSH
4
 
MIS
2
 
STL
1
 
KTY
1
 
CHI
3
 
FON
8
 
TXS
2
2nd 407
2004 A. J. Foyt Enterprises  
HMS
 
PHX
 
INDY
2
 
KAN
 
NSH
 
MIL
 
MIS
 
KTY
12th 150
Kenn Hardley Racing  
PPIR
9
 
CHI
2
 
FON
10
 
TXS
6
2005 Kenn Hardley Racing  
HMS
9
 
PHX
12
 
STP
12
 
INDY
7
 
TXS
8
 
IMS
13
 
NSH
2
 
MIL
1
 
KTY
5
 
PPIR
1
 
SNM
3
 
CHI
1
 
WGL
1
 
FON
2
2nd 474
2006 Kenn Hardley Racing  
HMS
1
 
STP1
2
 
STP2
4
 
INDY
 
WGL
 
IMS
 
NSH
 
MIL
 
KTY
 
SNM1
 
SNM2
 
CHI
12th 122
2008 Team Moore Racing  
HMS
 
STP1
4
 
STP2
19
 
KAN
7
 
INDY
8
 
MIL
2
 
IOW
6
 
WGL1
3
 
WGL2
6
 
NSH
15
 
MDO1
6
 
MDO2
21
 
KTY
23
 
SNM1
 
SNM2
 
CHI
13th 285
2010 Team E  
STP
 
ALA
 
LBH
 
INDY
15
 
IOW
 
WGL
 
TOR
 
EDM
 
MDO
 
SNM
 
CHI
 
KTY
 
HMS
34th 15

IndyCar SeriesEdit

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Rank Points
2004 Mo Nunn Racing HMS PHX MOT INDY
16
TXS RIR 29th 26
Patrick Racing KAN
19
NSH MIL MIS KTY PPIR NZR CHI FON TX2
2006 Rahal Letterman Racing HMS STP MOT
18
INDY
23
WGL
19
TXS
15
RIR
19
KAN
10
NSH
7
MIL
9
MIS
10
KTY
14
SNM
7
CHI
8
16th 217
2007 Rahal Letterman Racing HMS
17
STP
14
MOT
8
KAN
10
INDY
11
MIL
10
TXS
6
IOW
17
RIR
18
WGL
10
NSH
14
MDO MIS KTY SNM DET CHI 18th 201
2008 A. J. Foyt Enterprises HMS STP MOT1 LBH1 KAN INDY
28
MIL TXS IOW RIR WGL NSH MDO EDM KTY SNM DET CHI SRF2
39th 10
1 Run on same day.
2 Non-points race.
Years Teams Races Poles Wins Podiums
(Non-win)
Top 10s
(Non-podium)
Indianapolis 500
Wins
Championships
4 4 26 0 0 0 11 0 0

Indianapolis 500Edit

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Team
2004 Dallara Toyota 29 16 Mo Nunn Racing
2006 Panoz Honda 26 23 Rahal Letterman Racing
2007 Dallara Honda 13 11 Rahal Letterman Racing
2008 Dallara Honda 24 28 A. J. Foyt Enterprises

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Jeff Simmons – Bio". jeffsimmons.com. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2010.
  2. ^ "Simmons in at Team E for Indianapolis". junioropenwheeltalent.com. Retrieved 26 December 2010.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Derek Hill
Barber Dodge Pro Series Champion
19981999
Succeeded by
Nilton Rossoni