Skip to content

The important insights: Schmidt’s French drivers on Sonoma’s wines

Aug 21, 2013, 7:00 PM EDT

Simon Pagenaud and Tristan Vautier talk during practice for the Indianapolis 500 in Indianapolis. Reuters

By this point in the IndyCar season, teams need to get creative when it comes to thinking of new story angles or leads for advance press releases. Sam Schmidt’s team – the Schmidt Hamilton HP entry for Simon Pagenaud and Schmidt Peterson entry for rookie Tristan Vautier – took full advantage of the fact they employ two Frenchmen and inquired about their wine preferences.

This is Sonoma, American Wine Country, after all.

For Pagenaud, Napa Valley wines compare favorably to French wines, even if they represent a night-and-day difference.

“I always have good wine, no matter where I am,” Pagenaud said. “France is famous for wine, but I don’t think it’s better one place or another. Because of the temperature, sun and rain here in Sonoma the wine is very colorful and rich in terms of taste. It’s much fruitier than what we have in France. They’re actually very different but both good.”

Vautier, who’s only 24, is at least of age but said the task at hand over the weekend trumps wine tasting.

“Driving on a race weekend and wine tasting don’t really fit together, and we’re flying home right after the race Sunday night,” Vautier said. “I can’t offer much wine insight but I hope all of our fans and sponsors get to enjoy themselves!”

Both are a big fan of the Sonoma circuit, with its elevation changes and fast rhythm. Pagenaud finished second last time out at Mid-Ohio and enters the race fifth in points, while Vautier, the lone full-time rookie in the championship, sits 20th with his last top-10 finish at Barber in April. Vautier made the Firestone Fast Six in his first two starts of the year.

Latest Posts
  1. 2014 Belgian Grand Prix Preview

    Aug 21, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Race Getty Images

    After a three-week summer break, what better way to welcome Formula 1 back than with the Belgian Grand Prix?

  2. Rain postpones Bristol Trucks race to Thursday morning

    Aug 20, 2014, 10:11 PM EDT

    bristol rain Getty Images

    Wednesday’s UNOH 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway has been postponed due to heavy rain and lightning. The race has been rescheduled to 10 am ET on Thursday morning, weather permitting.

  3. Start of Trucks race at Bristol under rain delay

    Aug 20, 2014, 8:52 PM EDT

    Bristol motor speedway logo

    Heavy rain showers coupled with occasional lightning are delaying Wednesday’s UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

  4. NASCAR America video: Jimmie Johnson needs to turn things around

    Aug 20, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT

    Camping World RV Sales 301 - Practice Getty Images

    On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America, we looked at the struggles Jimmie Johnson and his team have had over much of the last six weeks.

  5. NASCAR America video: Jeff Burton to replace Tony Stewart at Bristol

    Aug 20, 2014, 7:24 PM EDT

    Burton Michigan 2 2014 AP

    On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America, in the continuing absence of Tony Stewart this weekend at Bristol, it was announced that Jeff Burton will drive in his place for the second week in a row.

  6. Kyle Busch earns pole for tonight’s Trucks race at Bristol

    Aug 20, 2014, 6:42 PM EDT

    kyle busch truck ky Getty Images

    Kyle Busch (who else) earned the No. 1 qualifying position Wednesday afternoon for this evening’s UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

  7. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 6:30 p.m. ET — Stewart won’t race at Bristol, talk with Jeff Burton, JJ and Harvick

    Aug 20, 2014, 6:07 PM EDT

    140820-nascar-america

    We have a huge show for today’s edition of NASCAR America, including the latest on Tony Stewart not racing at Bristol, Jeff Burton back in the No. 14 to replace Stewart, Kevin Harvick’s GoKart race, Jimmie Johnson’s recent struggles. And those are just for starters. Make sure you tune in.

  8. It’s official: Tony Stewart to miss Bristol race, Jeff Burton to once again drive No. 14

    Aug 20, 2014, 5:27 PM EDT

    Jeff Burton AP

    Tony Stewart will miss this weekend’s Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway, the third consecutive race Stewart has skipped in the aftermath of the tragic racing incident with sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. nearly two weeks ago.

  9. When — or will — Tony Stewart ever race again?

    Aug 20, 2014, 4:17 PM EDT

    tony stewart watkins glen 2014 a Getty Images

    Amidst news that a grassroots campaign is building support for Tony Stewart, including plans to stand up and cheer during Lap 14 (Stewart’s race car number) of Saturday night’s race at Bristol, one question still remains: When will Stewart race again

  10. STP to once again grace legendary No. 43 RPM machine

    Aug 20, 2014, 2:53 PM EDT

    (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The famed STP logo will once again grace the legendary No. 43 of Richard Petty Motorsports in Saturday night’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

  11. Kyle Busch seeks trifecta in Bristol tripleheader

    Aug 20, 2014, 2:46 PM EDT

    (AP Photo/Terry Renna) AP

    Kyle Busch will attempt to win all three NASCAR races at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend.

  12. IndyCar: Penske looks for fifth straight Sonoma win this weekend

    Aug 20, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    Sonoma Pack - IndyCar AP

    Will Power and Team Penske have been dominant over the last several years at Sonoma, and if they are again, the IndyCar championship could be put out of reach.

  13. Conway looks to sign off his 2014 IndyCar campaign with third win in Sonoma

    Aug 20, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    ConwayLB2 AP

    If Mike Conway wins Sonoma this weekend, he’ll have his third win of 2014, and tie Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay with the most in the IndyCar field.

  14. Indy Lights: Ryan Phinny, Casamigos switch to Belardi for Sonoma

    Aug 20, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    Photo: Indy Lights Photo: Indy Lights

    Gabby Chaves to get new teammate in form of Ryan Phinny for Sonoma, at Indy Lights weekend finale.

  15. NBA legend Dominique Wilkins made it to Milwaukee last weekend with Kimball’s crew

    Aug 20, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    KimballMKE Getty Images

    NBA legend Dominique Wilkins tours Charlie Kimball’s No. 83 team during the Milwaukee IndyCar weekend.

  16. Andre Lotterer confirmed for Caterham debut at Spa

    Aug 20, 2014, 8:45 AM EDT

    LottererDebut Getty Images

    Le Mans champion Andre Lotterer confirmed for surprise Formula One debut with Caterham at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

  17. NASCAR: Toyota working to find more horsepower for engines

    Aug 19, 2014, 9:09 PM EDT

    Pure Michigan 400 Getty Images

    Last year, reliability was the problem for Toyota’s engines, not power. This year, the situation has been reversed, and Toyota Racing Development’s president says they’re hunting for more performance ahead of the Chase.

  18. NASCAR AMERICA: Crew chief Gustafson key to Jeff Gordon’s renaissance (VIDEO)

    Aug 19, 2014, 8:07 PM EDT

    Sprint All-Star Race - Practice Getty Images

    Alan Gustafson may not be as well-known as other crew chiefs, but it’s clear that he’s played a big role in Jeff Gordon’s success this season. The NASCAR AMERICA crew breaks down what’s made them such a good pair together.

  19. NASCAR AMERICA: New home, new sponsor for Edwards and Suarez (VIDEO)

    Aug 19, 2014, 7:31 PM EDT

    Daniel Suarez AP

    NASCAR AMERICA talks about Carl Edwards and Daniel Suarez’s move to Joe Gibbs Racing – and the impact of their new sponsor, telecommunications equipment company ARRIS.

  20. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA follows JGR’s big day at 6:30 p.m. ET

    Aug 19, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT

    Daniel Suarez, Carl Edwards AP

    Coming up today: Reaction from 2015 JGR drivers Carl Edwards and Daniel Suarez, and current JGR Cup drivers Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch; No. 24 crew chief Alan Gustafson on the team’s win at Michigan; the Michigan edition of “Scan All 43.”

Video from NASCAR America

Why Edwards switched to Joe Gibbs racing
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. Gordon (1490)
  2. K. Harvick (1232)
  3. I. Vences (1021)
  4. T. Stewart (1012)
  5. K. Busch (1010)