Indianapolis Colts place-kicker Adam Vinatieri is going racing.
And he’s keeping some pretty fast company.
The 42-year-old NFL star is joining forces with Indy Racing League veteran Scott Goodyear and three-time Indianapolis 500 starter Jack Miller to launch an open-wheel race team in 2016.
The team—Goodyear, Miller, Vinatieri Motorsports LLC—will cut its teeth racing in the FIA Formula 4 Series sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing.
Formula 4, which was created by the same international body that sanctions Formula One, is intended for junior drivers making their way from go-kart racing to Formula 3, a critical stepping stone to F1 and IndyCar racing.
Though the trio didn't discuss their race team's budget, Formula 4 teams generally run on a low- to mid-six-figure annual budget. For a multiple-car effort, it could creep higher.
The team, which will be based in Westfield, has not ruled out moving up to bigger series in future years.
For the upcoming season, the team plans to field up to two cars in the Formula 4 Series utilizing Honda engines, Pirelli tires and a chassis designed and built by Syracuse, New York-based Crawford Performance Engineering.
Goodyear, a two-time Indy 500 runner-up, will coach the team’s drivers, while Miller will parlay his experience and success in driving, marketing and mapping out a grassroots program that led him to a Fortune 500 sponsorship—Crest—in the Indy 500.
Vinatieri, a long-time race fan, will help the team’s drivers navigate through the world of professional sports. He’ll also play a role in the team’s marketing and sponsorship efforts.
The trio will work with racers to develop their skills both on and off the race track, said Vinatieri, who went on to explain how the team was formed.
“I’ve known Jack for years and his commitment to success and his passion for the sport inspired me to get involved,” the four-time Super Bowl champion said. “Indianapolis is all about racing and helping young drivers work to achieve greatness and make it to the pinnacle of the sport at the Indy 500, [and that] is something I’m excited about.”
Vinatieri, an all-pro place-kicker in his 20th NFL season, has called Indianapolis home for the last decade as he’s played a key role in kicking the Colts to two Super Bowl appearances. He played his first 10 seasons in New England, where he helped the Patriots win three Super Bowl titles.
Goodyear’s son, Michael, a college sophomore working towards majors in accounting and economics, will compete in a limited number of events for the team.
Miller’s son, Jack William, will be a test driver for the team with an eye towards full participation next season. Jack William Miller will maintain his full karting schedule while testing for the team.
Michael Goodyear has earned six karting titles, and Jack William Miller counts the famous Rotax Florida Winter Challenge among his wins.
Goodyear said he looks forward to passing his knowledge on to myriad drivers for years to come as part of the team.
The 15-race Formula 4 Series will be contested at five U.S. venues including the season opener May 27-28 at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut.
The Formula 4 Series is part of a larger, international FIA F4 Series that competes in Australia, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Northern Europe and the United Kingdom.