INDIANAPOLIS (November 7,2002) - Jack Rodgers, one of the original investors behind Bettenhausen Motorsports and later minority team owner of Herdez Competition, passed away early today at age 67. Known for his humor and his hospitality,...
INDIANAPOLIS (November 7,2002) - Jack Rodgers, one of the original investors behind Bettenhausen Motorsports and later minority team owner of Herdez Competition, passed away early today at age 67.
Known for his humor and his hospitality, Rodgers was a larger-than-life presence in the CART paddock and the team's Gasoline Alley race shop.
Born in Bellflower, Missouri, Rodgers graduated from University of Missouri in 1957 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. After graduation, he served in the Air National Guard, including a year of active service in Europe in 1961-62. He and wife Barbara married in May, 1963.
The vast majority of Jack's business career was spent with Chicago-based agricultural firm, IMC Corporation. Rodgers retired from IMC as National Sales Manager in 1996. He continued to be active in a number of entrepreneurial pursuits, including a property development business in Indianapolis that he owned and operated with his son, Charlie.
Rodgers began his involvement in open-wheel motorsports in 1981 when he founded H & R Racing (with Wayne Hillis) and became one of the original backers of Tony Bettenhausen's efforts. He continued his support of Tony as a silent partner in Bettenhausen Motorsports until the death of Tony and Shirley Bettenhausen in a private plane crash on February 14, 2000. As the ownership of the team was assumed by Grupo Herdez, Jack remained an active participant in the new team, Herdez Competition. Although illness kept him away from the track in 2002, Jack was in regular attendance at most of the team's events up to the end of 2001.
He is survived by his wife Barbara, their son Charlie, an Indianapolis businessman, and their daughter Teri, a high school teacher in suburban Chicago.
Visitation will take place at Matthews Mortuary (690 E. 56th Street, Brownsburg, Indiana) from 4:00 to 8:00 pm on Sunday, November 10, 2002.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am Monday, November 11th at St. Malachy Catholic Church (326 N. Green Street, Brownsburg, Indiana).
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Jack L. Rodgers Memorial Fund, c/o Irwin Union Bank and Trust, Avon, Indiana. The fun will support White Lick Presbyterian Church, Avon Junior Athletic Association, and Sycamore School in Indianapolis, Indiana.