Googled: Jeff Simmons ’98, driver

Published: November 2006

Viewers of the April 22, 2006 Indy Racing League competition in Motegi, Japan, had the horrifying experience of seeing car #17, an ethanol-powered Honda, flip over and slide upside down across the track, and finally right itself before coming to a stop sans rear wheels—the climax in a chain reaction of mishaps caused when a car in front of the pack spun out of control. Thanks to a sturdy roll cage and relatively slow speed when the accident occurred, #17’s driver, Jeff Simmons, emerged from the wreck uninjured. It was Simmons’s debut appearance in the 2006 season of Indy Racing—a 12-year old league that features open wheel cars and sponsors the Indianapolis 500—but for the 29-year old driver, who began racing replica “quarter midget” cars when he was 5 and racked up more than 150 victories by age 14, it was a minor mishap along the way to a strong 2006 season, in which he finished among the top 10 in six of the final seven races, won $712,000 in prize money, and was the runner-up for the league’s rookie of the year award.

This feature was posted on Tuesday, November 21, 2006 and is filed under Research.