Wednesday, September 14, 2011

SSM Manager Dies...

Sam Schmidt Motorsports Indy Lights Team Manager Chris Griffis has unexpectedly passed away Monday night after participating in a Pick-up Basketball game in Indianapolis. He was 45yrs old and is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Chris had considerable experience in the Open wheel Racing world - having worked alongside Gordon Johncock and Emerson Fittipaldi at Patrick Racing, before working at Chip Ganassi Racing and Bernstein Racing and then went to Panther Racing and was the winning Crew Chief for Indy Lights Champion Mark Taylor before ultimately becoming Team Manager  of Schmidt’s dominant Indy Lights program - where Chris has help guide SSM to four titles and 46 wins while the team is currently 1-2 in the Championship standings.

Team Owner Sam Schmidt has chosen to go to Indianapolis instead of Japan out of respect for Griffis and his family...

Update
Just watched the Autosport Radio Archive video for Sept 13 with Pippa Mann - who formerly drove for Sam Schmidt Motorsports; who gave a very stirring, positive, glowing tribute to recently deceased SSM FIL Team Manager Chris Griffis - which Pippa did at the very start of her interview - saying she needed to speak about Chris before going any further.

She said the day she arrived all Chris said when he saw her was Uh-Huh... Yet mentioned how great of a guy he was who carried a picture of his family and his dog in his wallet...

Meanwhile, as Funeral Services were held in Indiana, over in Japan Sam Schmidt Motorsports ‘Big Carz driver ‘TAG (Alex Tagliani) gave the team an inspired fourth place finish at Motegi - tying the team’s best finish of the season...

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