LEXINGTON, Ohio — Former IndyCar driver Sarah Fisher is mulling a move from team owner to racing mogul.
Fisher, the co-owner of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, will have a second car in the fold when Lucas Luhr drives for her in Sonoma on Aug. 25. Fisher already owns the car driven by Josef Newgarden, who came to this weekend's stop at Mid-Ohio 15th in the standings behind leader Helio Castroneves.
The decision to run a second car at Sonoma is part business and part personal. Fisher partnered with Steve Weirich and RW Motorsports to field two cars at the 2012 Indianapolis 500, with the caveat that she would partner with them again in 2013. Sonoma seemed like a good fit and a chance for Fisher to take another step toward adding a second car full-time.
"We've wanted two cars from day one and we've explored it here and there," she said Saturday. "It absolutely has to be the right program. For us (Sonoma) is one of those weekends to explore what it is going to take."
Fisher is pleased with the development of the 22-year-old Newgarden, who made 14 starts for her during his first season in the series in 2012. He's on pace to easily surpass that this season. He's already recorded five top 10 finishes, including a career-best fifth at Sao Paolo and Pocono.
"Everyone can see the numbers improving," Fisher said.
Fisher says she feels a "responsibility" to expand the series as an owner. A second car would be expensive, but necessary if the team is to join IndyCar's elite programs. Fisher is well aware of the challenges but believes the infrastructure is in place in her garage to make it happen. Now she just needs the money.
"We've built a shop that can support (a second team) long-term," she said. "That's where we've got to go. We just need to make the budget to make it happen."