Tough Weekend for Schmied at Sebring

September 26th 2023 – Sebring, FL.

Kenny Schmied and the AOA Racing #14 BMW M2 CS Racing traveled to Sebring Florida over the weekend for rounds 11 and 12 of the 2023 Touring Car America season. With Sebring being a track Schmied has seen success at before, he was excited for the weekend. A rough run of things early in Race 1 would see Schmied fall back from a starting position of 4th to as low as 7th, ultimately coming in with a finish in 5th. On Sunday, Schmied would quickly pick up two spots at the start to jump from 7th to 5th, but a few laps into the race contact with the #24 BMW of Joseph Catania would foil Schmied’s chances, with Schmied ultimately finishing the race in 6th. The team is now focused on the final two rounds of TC America at Indianapolis Speedway in a few weeks.

Having had some success at the famed Florida race track, Schmied and the team were looking forward to a solid weekend of racing. “Sebring holds a special place in my heart” Schmied said. “Having won the first ever 24 hour race here back in 2021, I think it really gives me a leg-up on the competition. I’ve spent quite a lot of time on the track here, and I think it will be one of our better showings for 2023”.


The weekend started off with two test sessions on Thursday. Quickly showing pace in the #14 AOA Racing BMW M2 (Cup), Schmied would set his focus on Friday for official practice with a good amount of speed in hand. Uneventful running on Friday would prepare Schmied and the team for qualifying early on Saturday.

Blitzing into the early Florida morning sunshine, Schmied would ultimately qualify the #14 machine in 4th position for Race 1. “I’d rather be in 5th so I can be on the inside to be honest, but 4th in qualifying was a great showing, now it’s up to me to move up the pack” Schmied said. 

After getting a rough start at the green flag, Schmied would find himself struggling in Race 1, losing two spots in the first few laps to fall back to 6th. After a safety car restart later in the race, Schmied would fall further back to 7th after an opportunistic move into turn 3 from the newcomer Joe Pizzuto. 

Another safety car followed, and Schmied finally found the pace and the rhythm to begin attacking near the end of the race. Schmied would ultimately claw back two positions to finish Race 1 in 5th. “It was a tough race out there. I just got bossed around a lot in the beginning and didn’t have an answer for it. Thankfully I was able to light it up in the second half of the race and do some damage limitation. 5th isn’t what we’re after, but I’ll take it given the circumstances” Schmied said about Race 1.

Schmied would start further back in 7th for Race 2, but a great start saw him pass Joe Catania and Maddie Aust by turn 3 of the first lap of competition. Chasing down the podium spot, Schmied would end up getting hit in the left rear of the car by the #24 BMW of Joseph Catania, spinning Schmied and costing valuable time. On the comeback, Schmied would battle hard over the race to catch the #93 Honda Civic of Christopher DeFreitas just before the checkered, bringing home the AOA Racing machine in 6th. Joe Catania would ultimately earn a drive through penalty, enough to classify him in last place for Race 2, as well as warning points on his racing license for the contact with Schmied. 

“It just wasn’t out weekend out there” Schmied said. “I couldn’t really find the pace on Saturday, and when I found it on Sunday I got spun out into turn 1 which really put me on the back foot. Glad I was able to run down DeFreitas for 6th, but I think both me and the team expected more this weekend. Tough to be disappointed when you’re racing at Sebring, but I really thought I could do better here. But now it’s time to focus on the final two rounds of the season at Indy”.

Schmied and AOA Racing head to Indianapolis Motor Speedway in early October for the final two rounds of the 2023 Touring Car America season. 

Photos from TC America at Sebring can be found below or at the photo gallery page here.