Tuesday, May 28, 2002
INDY 500 NEWS BUREAU/Special to the Desert Dispatch
INDIANAPOLIS — Barstow native Sam Goldsmith made his first Indianapolis 500 a memorable one.
Goldsmith, who was born in Barstow and graduated from high school there, began racing motorcycles and off-road vehicles at an early age, then met Indianapolis 500 veteran Roger Mears, who was running the Dorricott Racing team in the Indy Lights series.
Last year, he went to work for Mo Nunn Racing and on Sunday, he was the vent man for driver Felipe Giaffone, who took third in the race behind winner Helio Castroneves and second-place Paul Tracy.
“Just working on this hot rod in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing...” he said with a smile.
He had some drama on Giaffone’s second pit stop.
“Felipe took off a little early and left with the vent handle in the car, so that made it a little exciting for the next stop to get everything taken care of,” Goldsmith said. “I thought we were going to win it till two laps to go. Still, third place in my first ‘500’ is a pretty good deal.”
He was surprised by the work involved in the month of May at Indy.
“Truthfully, I didn’t know how much work went into it,” he said. “It’s a month of 12-hour days. There’s no days off. It’s a lot of work. It makes it all worthwhile for a third-place finish.”
Goldsmith said he enjoyed it.
“I’m one of the bigger cheerleaders on the team,” he said. “I’m pretty vocal and pretty animated so when I’m happy, I’m pumped up. It was quite exciting. It really was.”