Former Indy 500 champ Villeneuve to drive for Sam Schmidt

There’s an old Bob Seger song that says “you can come back, baby, because rock and roll never forgets.”

The Indianapolis 500 is like that.

In 1995, when he was only 24, Jacques Villeneuve won the Indy 500 in only his second try. He came from two laps down to win. Then he left Indycar racing to follow in his father’s tire tracks and won the Formula 1 championship.

This year, at age 42, he will drive at Indianapolis again, for a team headed by Henderson’s Sam Schmidt.

This is yet one more sign that Sam Schmidt’s team is on the rise at Indy, and beyond.

Despite operating on a much smaller budget than fellow car owners Roger Penske, Chip Ganassi and Michael Andretti, Schmidt’s driver Simon Pagenaud won two races last year and finished third in the championship.

Now, with a former champion and past Indy winner like Villeneuve driving for him, Schmidt’s team will be in the media spotlight, too.

Like Bob Seger said in that song, sweet 16 has turned 31 — er, 42.