IRL: Blair Racing forms new team

INDIANAPOLIS (January 9, 2002) -- Blair Racing announced today it will compete in the 2002 Indy Racing League Series (IRL). The driver will be Alex Barron of San Diego. Blair Racing will enter a Dallara chassis with Chevrolet ...

INDIANAPOLIS (January 9, 2002) -- Blair Racing announced today it will compete in the 2002 Indy Racing League Series (IRL). The driver will be Alex Barron of San Diego. Blair Racing will enter a Dallara chassis with Chevrolet engines.

Alex Barron.
Photo by Ang Lisuzzo.
Entering his second year in the motorsports arena, team owner Larry Blair of San Jose, Calif. announced a new partnership for his IRL venture. Hayden Harris of Chelsea, Mich., a dynamic and successful businessman, has joined forces with Blair to compete in the 15-event IRL schedule.

Continuing to reorganize and build the team, Blair and Harris have hired industry veteran Tom Gloy of Incline Village, Nev. to be president of Blair Racing and oversee the team. It has moved into expanded facilities on the north side of Indianapolis, the city that is home of the world's most famous race. John Dick of Indianapolis will serve as engineer.

"Since May of last year, I have continued to make dramatic changes, improving and expanding the team to be competitive in the top levels of racing," said Blair. "For 2002, I have restructured Blair Racing to put together a compact and A-caliber group. It is my continued goal to make this a successful endeavor; Hayden's business acumen will help us reach our goals. Having Tom's experience and leadership will enable the operation to run smoothly. Alex has already proven his ability in running for us at two events last year. His superspeedway experience is important to me as a team owner."

A businessman and entrepreneur, Blair is not only a team owner but also a futurist with the insight and creativity to ignite a powerful racing organization. In the technology sector, Blair held key positions with businesses that laid the foundation of the Internet. His former posts include vice president of marketing for both Redback Networks, Inc. and Ipsilon, and co-founder of Kalpana Networks, Inc. (the inventor of the Ethernet switch). Recognizing the similarities between the information-driven cultures of technology and motorsports, Blair adds the speed and agility of new economy thinking to the conventional wisdom found in racing.

Barron, the 1997 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Champion and KOOL/Toyota Rookie of the Year has also raced in CART for Blair Racing, Marlboro Team Penske, Dan Gurney's All-American Racers and Dale Coyne Racing.

"I am looking forward to racing for Larry again," said Barron. "We had good results as a team for the last two races in 2001. Larry has put together a program that I feel will be a competitive package. Drivers always look for the right program and a winning combination. I am looking forward to the next few weeks with preseason testing starting in February and the first race in March."

"I am very excited about joining Larry and Blair Racing," said Hayden Harris. " I believe the IRL is the premier open wheel venue in the United States and I respect what Tony George has done with the series. My roots in racing go back to midgets and sprint cars so I feel very strongly about open wheel racing and its heritage. Larry has assembled the important ingredients and talent; I trust our efforts will be fruitful. We will be fielding an extremely competent entry. I have been competitive and mechanically oriented my whole life; I know I am on the right team."

Harris is a general partner and co-founder of EDF Ventures, a venture capital company, based in Ann Arbor, Mich. In 1977, Harris founded Enterprise Management, Inc. a provider of financial and managerial assistance to companies with high-growth prospects. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Emerald BioAgriculture, Inc., and Media Station, Inc. He co-found ed TherOx, Inc. and Xtera Communications, Inc. He was Chairman, CEO and majority shareholder of Software Services Corporation. Harris was appointed by the Michigan governor to the Corporate Board and Executive Committee of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the state's leading economic development authority. He is also Chairman of the Board of McLaren Performance Technologies, Inc., a provider of high performance automotive equipment and services.

Gloy's gift for steering a top-flight racing program is an extension of his versatility and diligence behind the wheel. His accomplishments as a driver and team owner rank among the most significant over the past 30 years. Gloy has consistently attracted top drivers, celebrities, high-profile sponsors and leading manufacturers. His team competed in the NASCAR Truck Series for three years and the SCCA Trans-Am Series for 14 years. Personally, he also raced on many different circuits, winning the 1979 North American Formula Atlantic Drivers' Championship, the 1984 Trans-Am Drivers' Championship as well as competing in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) Series and in the Indianapolis 500.

"I thank Larry for the opportunity to work with such a dynamic group," said Gloy.

"Since meeting Larry when he started Blair Racing last May, I have watched the many changes and hard work he has put forth to build the strong team necessary to participate in the competitive ranks of the IRL. It will be good to be back at the Speedway and to work with Larry and Alex. John is a great addition and adds to the positive chemistry needed to run at the front."

Dick's vast engineering experience includes working with winning drivers Al Unser, Jr., Danny Sullivan, Hut Sticklin, Arie Luyendyk, John Andretti, Paul Tracy, Max Papis, Tom Gloy and Davey Jones. He has engineered cars in the CART, NASCAR, IMSA GTP and Trans-Am arenas. In 1990, Dick was on the winning Indianapolis 500 team with driver Arie Luyendyk.

-www.blairracing.com

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Series AUTOMOTIVE , INDYCAR