CHAMPCAR/CART: Communications staff restructure announcement

CART communications staff restructuring complete following promotions and new hires. DETROIT (March 22, 2002) - Completing a staff restructuring that included several promotions, one new hire and the return of a former departmental employee, ...

CART communications staff restructuring complete following promotions and new hires.

DETROIT (March 22, 2002) - Completing a staff restructuring that included several promotions, one new hire and the return of a former departmental employee, Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) Vice President of Communications Adam Saal announced today the new and complete CART Communications headquarters staff.

The CART Communications department, which is primarily responsible for all media and public relations and creative project support for CART and its open-wheel racing series, includes nine individuals based at CART headquarters. It is the first time since 2000 that all departmental employees have worked out of CART's home office in the metro-Detroit city of Troy, Mich.

Saal, who was named to his position this past January when CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook announced his new executive management team, oversees all CART media and public relations initiatives at both the competition and corporate communications levels. Previously, competition and corporate communications were operated as separate divisions at CART.

"What we now have is a streamlined and unified CART Communications department," said Saal, who previously ran CART's Communications division in 1995 and '96. "Restructuring the department as one division will allow us to better serve all sectors of the media, CART teams, sponsors and promoters and our fellow departments within CART. The communications department will also serve as a key support mechanism for CART's marketing initiatives in support of Chris Pook's total repositioning of CART as a marketing-driven organization."

While Saal, 38, will be responsible for the overall management of the division, he has appointed fourth-year CART employee Merrill Cain to oversee the day-to-day operations of the department. Cain, 32, has been promoted to the position of senior manager of public relations and will be responsible for all traditional media and public relations activities focusing on CART race events. He and Saal will jointly manage all media operations and oversee the implementation of CART's public relations plans and strategies. Cain will also maintain an emphasis on broadcast media initiatives in keeping with his previous positions at CART. He joined the organization in January of 1999 as manager of broadcast public relations, working primarily with both television and radio stations covering the CART FedEx Championship Series. He moved into the role of manager of radio operations during the 2000 season, overseeing and managing the day-to-day operations of the national CART Radio Network. Prior to joining CART, Cain worked for two seasons with the Detroit Tigers. He oversaw the re-design of the team's official Internet web site during his tenure and served as coordinator of business public relations. Cain also has additional experience as a radio announcer from 1993-94 and as a sports editor for Hometown Newspapers in the metropolitan Detroit area from 1994-97. He is a 1992 graduate of Central Michigan University with a degree in broadcast and cinematic arts.

Additional management level appointments in CART Communications include the promotions of Nate Siebens to news manager and Kelly Beyer to the new position of manager of advance event operations.

Siebens, 29, is a long-time open-wheel racing enthusiast with six years of experience in motorsports media. In the news manager position, Siebens will be responsible for all editorial assignments related to CART open-wheel racing in addition to running the department's press room operations and CART's internet operations. He joined CART as new media public relations manager in March of 2000, and was instrumental in the growth of the official web site of the CART FedEx Championship Series, www.CART.com, which established a record of more than 11 million visitors during the 2001 season. Prior to joining CART, Siebens was Associate Editor of Championship Racing Magazine where he oversaw the production of the monthly publication in addition to providing editorial CART coverage for the magazine and the magazine's web site and e-mail service, ICR Online. He is a 1998 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a print journalism degree and a minor in coaching.

Beyer, who celebrates her 29th birthday today, will oversee all aspects of CART's advance press and media operations programs that have been in place since 1994. A primary responsibility will be assisting in the development and managing the media operations of the expanded CART Experience advance program that will be formally announced in the near future. Beyer, a six-year CART employee, returns to the communications department where she began with the organization on an internship with Oakland University, of Rochester, Mich., in 1995. She joined CART full-time after graduating with a journalism degree in 1996 has worked in the television and marketing/promotions divisions. She most recently held the position of manager of client relations in CART's marketing department.

Cain and Siebens will each manage a pair of Communications Associates. Fourth-year CART employee Kathi Reichert will report to Cain while new employee Kelby Krauss will work directly with Siebens.

As public relations associate, Reichert, 30, will assist Cain in the day-to-day operation of the department while maintaining an emphasis on the CART Extranet program, a web-based communication tool for the CART Community. She will also assist in the department's broadcast video operations and will play a significant role in CART's community relations efforts relating to the organization's pending relocation. Prior to joining CART, Reichert worked as a public relations assistant for the 1997 and '98 NHL Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings from 1995-1999. She received a marketing degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1995 with a communications minor.

Krauss, 25, joins CART in the position of news associate from the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) where he spent the last two years as public relations manager. He will assist Siebens with all editorial assignments and press room operations and will serve as CART's pit notes writer on all race event weekends. After joining the CART Communications team for the season-opening Tecate/Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix earlier this month, Krauss will begin his full time position with the organization on Monday. In addition to his SCCA Pro experience, Krauss worked at Kentucky Speedway as a public and media relations assistant in 2000 following an internship in the NASCAR marketing department earlier that year. He is a 1999 graduate of Indiana University with a major in Kinesiology and a major in sports marketing and management.

In the creative area of the Communications Department, Alan Grayson continues as creative services manager. Grayson, 34, is responsible for the graphic design and creative effort of CART and is assisted by creative associate Joe Sheridan. Grayson is in his fourth year with CART while Sheridan, 29, has been with the organization since last September.

Tonya Trassati, 51, continues to handle the department's administrative activity as communications associate. She joined CART in 1996.

In the near future, CART Communications will announce and confirm its contractor and agency-based relationships in the areas of FedEx Championship Series publicity, advance media relations, international press liaison/translations and the department's interface with the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship and Barber Dodge Pro Series.

Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the CART FedEx Championship Series. Former series champions Michael Andretti and Jimmy Vasser are among the stars who will battle for the 2002 FedEx Championship Series title on ovals, temporary street circuits and permanent road courses. CART Champ Cars are thoroughbred racing machines that travel at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, showcasing the technical expertise of manufacturers such as American Honda, Ford Motor Company, Toyota, Lola Cars, Reynard Motorsport, and Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC. The 20-race 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series will be broadcast by new television partners, CBS, FOX, and SPEED Channel. CART also owns and operates its top development series, the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.CART.com.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Chris Pook