HOMESTEAD, Fla. (February 9, 2000) - Championship Auto Racing Teams announced today that J. Kirk Russell has been named Chief Steward of CART's FedEx Championship Series. Russell's appointment was announced by CART Chairman and CEO Andrew ...
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (February 9, 2000) - Championship Auto Racing Teams announced today that J. Kirk Russell has been named Chief Steward of CART's FedEx Championship Series.
Russell's appointment was announced by CART Chairman and CEO Andrew Craig and takes effect immediately.
"I am pleased to be able to make this announcement," said Craig. "Kirk has a vast knowledge of Champ Car racing and his presence in Race Control will help us continue to effectively manage our 20 race events. His commitment to our sport is unquestionable. He has committed most of his adult life to CART and our team owners, and I, are proud to have Kirk as our Chief Steward."
As part of Russell's appointment, CART is re-organizing its Racing Division. In this transition year, Wally Dallenbach - CART's outgoing Chief Steward who has served in that capacity since 1982 - will serve as a consultant to Russell and the series. Additionally, Craig indicated that the new Racing Division structure will include a President of Racing, a yet-to-be-filled position that will oversee all racing operations.
For Russell, his appointment is an exciting next step in a 22-year career at CART.
"CART has been the focus of much of my career," said Russell. "I accept this responsibility and appreciate the honor of the appointment. Also, I am very much looking forward to continuing to work with Wally in 2000. His insights into running our races will be very helpful as I work my way through my first season as the lead man."
Russell's background in engineering and his love of the sport were the main reasons he joined the company as its technical director in November of 1978. His duties at CART have run the gamut during his tenure and have included general administrative responsibilities as well as overseeing CART's competition department. Russell has long been active in the motorsports world and has been instrumental in several advances in race car and facility safety. He regularly represents CART and open-wheel racing in international meetings, including those with the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the world governing body for motorsports.
Prior to joining CART, Russell - who grew up just a short distance from Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway - was in the research department of Bethlehem Steel. He originally became involved with Champ Car racing in the early 1970s as a member of the United States Auto Club's technical committee.