Posted by Iannucci | 4/02/2008 | 3 comments »
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When we last left Jeff Simmons, he was being fired after pulling the Motorcoach up to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The reasons for his firing vary from the critical to conspiratorial, but the final result was an abrupt replacement by Ryan Hunter-Reay and a one way ticket out of Rahal-ville.

But racers must race, so...

A familiar face topped the speed charts during the second day of the Firestone Indy Lights Open Test at Sebring International Raceway.

Jeff Simmons, who will compete in the Firestone Indy Lights St. Pete 100 doubleheader for Team Moore Racing, turned the fastest lap of the nine teams testing on the facility's 1.67-mile short course. Simmons, who won seven Firestone Indy Lights events from 2003-2006 before graduating to the IndyCar Series, turned a lap of 57.7617 seconds, 104.083 mph in the No. 2 TMR/Xtreme Coil Drilling car -- the fourth-best lap of the two-day test.

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Simmons is going back to his roots in the Indy Lights née Pro series, where earlier this decade he recorded 7 wins and 22 Top 5s in 34 starts. The driver affectionately known around here as "Spock" reportedly has "plans that call for him only to race at St. Petersburg", so either this is an audition of sorts for another ride elsewhere or it's just an excuse to go down to Florida and take in a weekend of racing.


  1. Fred Hurley // April 02, 2008 7:40 AM  

    This touches on something I've been pondering for a while now. If the sport as a whole gets a real bounce from a single series, and can sustain that growth while bringing in new sponsors, it will make it easier for drivers (all drivers) to collect a paycheck, and in most cases, a good one. Similarly, Indy Lights might become a place where Quadruple-A drivers can make a living racing. Maybe Simmons will never quite crest the hill and become a great IndyCar driver, but if he can be very good in Indy Lights, and it pays well, that's great. Just another in a long line of reasons why a single series is a good thing.

  2. Anonymous // April 03, 2008 8:04 AM  

    Team Moore hire one of these talents for your car :

    Adam Andretti, Jimmy Kite, Leilani Munter, Phil Giebler, Stephen Simpson,Robbie Pecorari !!!

  3. Unknown // April 03, 2008 8:21 PM  

    Something I took from talking with Jeff on the phone: he was almost apologetic about the Indy Lights gig, and he should not be

    Lots of racers move up and down in class for a number of reasons

    Personally I'm convinced that the so called 'barrier' Jeff faces is mental...something called confidence

    When he gets it back (and it won't take long in Indy Lights with his level of skill and experience) he'll be back in an IndyCar with a grateful team and owner