Chris Simmons (racing driver)

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Chris Simmons
NationalityUnited States American
Born (1973-05-01) May 1, 1973 (age 46)
Hartford, Connecticut
Retired1998
Related toJeff Simmons (brother)
Indy Lights
Years active19951998
TeamsSotare Motorsports (1995)
Team Green (1996–1997)
Mattco Raceworks (1998)
Starts37
Wins0
Poles2
Fastest laps1
Best finish5th in 1997
Previous series
1992–1994
1990–1991
1990
1980–1990
USAC Formula Ford 2000 East
SCCA S2000
Skip Barber Formula Ford
Quarter midgets
Championship titles
1992, 1993
1991
USAC Formula Ford 2000 East
SCCA S2000 Northeast
Awards
1991SCCA Jim Fitzgerald National Rookie of the Year

Chris Simmons (Hartford, Connecticut, 1 May 1973) is a Chip Ganassi Racing mechanic for their Nippon Telegraph and Telephone IndyCar Series teams.

Racing career[edit]

Simmons started as a driver, initially racing quarter midgets in the north eastern United States. He started his first quarter midget race at the age of seven.[1] After attending the Spenard-David racing school he started auto racing in 1990. The driver from Connecticut started out in the SCCA S2000 Northeast Division championship. Simmons won the 1991 championship after winning five out of seven races. Simmons also won the SCCA National Championship Runoffs in his class at Road Atlanta in 1991. The drove his Lola T598 from the pole position to the win. He won with advantage of more than eight seconds over Paul O'Kean.[2]

After his success in S2000 Simmons graduated into the USAC Formula Ford 2000 East championship for 1992. In 1992 Simmons won three out of seven races in his Van Diemen RF92. After winning the championship Chris Simmons returned in the series for the 1993 season.[3] He again won the championship after winning nine races. He ran a limited race schedule in 1994 as he started his mechanical engineering study at the University of Pennsylvania. Simmons won one race in the Formula Ford 2000, at New Hampshire International Speedway. Simmons was also involved in a deadly midget crash. During the USAC Hoosier Invitational X at the Hoosier Dome his car crashed into the pit area. One person got killed, eight others were injured. Simmons was uninjured.[4]

For 1995 Simmons again ran a limited schedule due to college obligations. In 1995 he graduated in mechanical engineering and management & technology at the University of Pennsylvania. Simmons made his debut in 1995 in the Indy Lights. At Bicentennial Park in Miami the young driver started 22nd and finished fourteenth. Simmons returned to the series full-time for 1996 to race for Team Green. He scored his best result at the start of the championship. At Homestead-Miami Speedway Simmons finished second, behind David Empringham. Simmons eventually ended up tenth in the championship standings. The 1997 was more successful for the driver from Connecticut. Simmons scored two pole positions, at Nazareth Speedway, Gateway Motorsports Park. He scored another three podium finishes. At the end of the season Simmons was classified fifth in the championship standings. A violent crash at Nazareth disrupted his 1998 season. In a crash at turn four Simmons was injured and transported to Easton Hospital. At the hospital it was determined that Simmons suffered a severe neck strain and a bruised shoulder.[5] Former teammate at Team Green, Mark Hotchkis replaced Simmons at Nazareth and the following three rounds.[6] Simmons returned to the series at Portland International Raceway where he finished fourteenth. At the end of the season Simmons scored 32 points and was placed nineteenth in the championship.

After not being able to secure a race seat for 1999, Simmons moved into the mechanical side of the sport. His brother Jeff Simmons had been racing through the ranks in previous years. After winning Chris joined his brother in the Barber Dodge Pro Series for 1999 as his engineer. Jeff Simmons won the championship and graduated into Indy Lights in 2000. Chris was again his engineer at Team Green.[7] Simmons would remain at Andretti Autosport while his brother moved on to other teams. Simmons was an assistant engineer to Tony Kanaan and Paul Tracy. At Chip Ganassi Racing since 2003, he has been part of the team's rapid success, initially on the No. 10 team with three of Dario Franchitti's series titles and an Indianapolis 500 win in 2012, then staying with Tony Kanaan on the No. 10, but since 2015 has been with Scott Dixon for two more titles with the No. 9 team (2015 and 2018), which he is lead engineer.[8]

Racing record[edit]

SCCA National Championship Runoffs[edit]

Year Track Car Engine Class Finish Start Status
1991 Road Atlanta Lola T598 Ford S2000 1 1 Running

American open-wheel racing results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

American Continental Championship results[edit]

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pos Points
1992 United States
FIR
Canada
MOS
United States
IOW
United States
WGI
8
United States
LRP
Canada
TRR
United States
SON1
United States
SON2
??? ???
1993 United States
ROA
11
Canada
MOS
1
United States
SON
United States
IOW
United States
WGI
1
Canada
TRR
9
United States
DAL
4th ???

USAC FF2000 Eastern Division Championship[edit]

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Pos Points
1992 SOTARE Racing United States
ROA1
7
United States
IRP
2
United States
NAZ
1
Canada
SHA
2
United States
WGI
1
United States
TOP
9
United States
ROA2
12
United States
SEB
1
1st ???
1993 SOTARE Racing United States
ATL
1
United States
IRP
17
United States
WGI
19
United States
MDO
1
United States
RAM
1
United States
NHS
1
Canada
SHA1
1
Canada
SHA2
1
United States
LRP
1
1st ???

USAC FF2000 National Championship results[edit]

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pos Points
1994 United States
IRP1
United States
IRP2
United States
IRP3
United States
WGI
United States
BFR
United States
TOP
United States
NHS
1
Canada
SHA1
Canada
SHA2
United States
LRP
??? ???

Indy Lights[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Rank Points
1995 Sotare Motorsports MIA
14
PHX
DNS
LBH NAZ MIL DET POR TOR CLE NHA VAN LS N.C. 0
1996 Team Green MIA
2
LBH
Ret
NAZ
4
MIS
12
MIL
5
DET
7
POR
Ret
CLE
11
TOR
Ret
TRO
Ret
VAN
7
LS
12
10th 54
1997 Team Green MIA
3
LBH
4
NAZ
2
SAV
16
STL
5
MIL
17
DET
8
POR
13
TOR
Ret
TRO
15
VAN
4
LS
Ret
FON
2
5th 88
1998 Mattco Raceworks MIA
5
LBH
Ret
NAZ
Inj
STL MIL DET POR
14
CLE
15
TOR
3
MIS
10
TRO
8
VAN
Ret
LS
13
FON
14
19th 32

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Racer Was Driven By His Dream Chris Simmons' Years Of Tenacity Paid Off. Today, He Brings His Talents To The Nazareth Raceway". The Inquirer. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  2. ^ "SCCA RUNOFFS DRIVER HISTORIES S-Z" (PDF). SCCA. Retrieved 11 October 2014.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Year-By-Year Champion Drivers". USFF2000. Archived from the original on August 13, 2003. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Fatal crash probed". The Times-News. 31 January 1994. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  5. ^ "Chris Simmons Update". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Hotchkis Subs for Simmons". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  7. ^ "His brother's keeper". The Argus-Press. 30 July 2000. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  8. ^ "Christopher Simmons". LinkedIn. Retrieved 11 October 2014.