INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2001 - Indy Racing League President and CEO Tony George assembled the 55-member Indy Racing League staff Wednesday and unveiled an organizational plan that will carry the League into its next phase of growth and ...
INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2001 - Indy Racing League President and CEO Tony George assembled the 55-member Indy Racing League staff Wednesday and unveiled an organizational plan that will carry the League into its next phase of growth and leadership in motorsports.
Under George's new plan, the Indy Racing League will be divided into two divisions - Racing Operations and Business Affairs. Indianapolis Motor Speedway Chief of Staff Ken Ungar has been chosen by George to be the new vice president of business affairs, while Vice President of Operations Brian Barnhart will continue to guide the racing operations division.
Barnhart and Ungar will work closely in selected areas, including event scheduling, promoter relations, broadcaster relations and strategic planning.
"The Indy Racing League is poised to reach new levels of growth and leadership in 2002," George said. "As with any company, organizational charts evolve, especially when you experience the kind of expansion the League has recently gone through. So, it is time to adjust and plan for the future.
"When the green flag flew for that first race at Disney in 1996, the League had five full-time staff members. The growth of the Indy Racing League staff has paralleled the controlled growth of the series." Barnhart was promoted to vice president of operations for the Indy Racing League in August 2000 after serving as director of racing operations since March 1997. He worked as a mechanic on two Indianapolis 500-winning teams before joining the IMS staff in 1994 as track superintendent. Barnhart, an Indianapolis native, holds a degree in political science from the University of Indianapolis.
Ungar, an attorney, has been with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation since 1997. In addition to his chief of staff responsibilities, New York City native Ungar spent the last four years working with the International Speedway Corporation in the construction of the Chicagoland Speedway. IMSC and ISC are partners, along with Route 66 Raceway, LLC, in the construction and management of Chicagoland Speedway.
"Today was a day to look at how far we've come, but the focus is on the future," George said. "We still face challenges to make the series more successful for our strategic partners, which include the track operators and series sponsors. But we are positioned to succeed, and in the end the racing fans will benefit."
Vice President, Operations
Brian Barnhart is the chief administrator of the Indy Racing League and oversees all day-to-day operations of the Racing Operations division.
Barnhart works closely with Indy Racing League Vice President of Business Affairs Ken Ungar in selected areas, including event scheduling, promoter relations, broadcaster relations and strategic planning.
Barnhart was promoted to vice president of operations for the Indy Racing League in August 2000 after serving as director of racing operations since March 1997. He joined the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1994 as track superintendent, becoming only the third person to hold that position.
In 1999, he won the Indy Racing League Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to Indy Racing. Barnhart has been a leader in areas of safety and performance. He has been active in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's soft-wall project since its creation.
A native of Indianapolis, Barnhart served on Indianapolis-style race teams from 1982 to 1994, including Galles Racing, Team Penske and Patrick Racing. He worked with legendary drivers A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Jr. and Emerson Fittipaldi, and his career included two Indianapolis 500 victories and two series championships - both with Unser.
As the Indy Racing League's chief race-day official, Barnhart has earned a reputation of being a stern but fair official, earning the respect of drivers, team members and owners.
Barnhart holds a degree in political science from Indiana Central University (now the University of Indianapolis). He resides with his wife, Cindy, in Indianapolis with their daughter.
Vice President, Business Affairs
Ken Ungar was named as the vice president of business affairs for the Indy Racing League in December 2001, a position he assumed after serving as the chief of staff of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since January 1997.
Ungar works closely with Indy Racing League Vice President of Operations Brian Barnhart in selected areas, including event scheduling, promoter relations, broadcaster relations and strategic planning.
Ungar was the first chief of staff at IMSC, the home of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, the Brickyard 400 and the SAP United States Grand Prix.
His responsibilities as chief of staff included supervision of the Executive Office, Human Resources Department and general policy issues facing the Speedway. He led IMSC's participation in the Motorsports Alliance LLC, a partnership with International Speedway Corporation of Daytona Beach, Fla., to establish Chicagoland Speedway, a 1.5-mile oval in Joliet, Ill.
Ungar was also instrumental in the development of "Hulman Memorial Way," a $3.2-million roadway beautification project in Speedway, Ind., honoring the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and its founders.
In 2000, Ungar was appointed to the board of the United States Auto Club. In 2001, he was named to the Executive Committee of the National Motorsports Council and was recently honored by the Indianapolis Business Journal by inclusion in its annual class of "40 under 40," a compilation of young leaders in the community.
Before joining the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Ungar served as a deputy chief of staff for Indiana Governor Evan Bayh. He assisted with the day-to-day management of state government and its 34,000 employees.
>From 1988-93, Ungar was an attorney at the Indianapolis headquarters of Ice Miller Donadio and Ryan. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University and his law degree from the Columbia University School of Law.
Ungar and his wife, Debbie, reside in Indianapolis with their two