DETROIT (February 14, 2001) - Building on its commitment to take its racing to the next level of sports entertainment, Championship Auto Racing Teams announced today that it is opening a Los Angeles office dedicated to extending CART's presence in...
DETROIT (February 14, 2001) - Building on its commitment to take its racing to the next level of sports entertainment, Championship Auto Racing Teams announced today that it is opening a Los Angeles office dedicated to extending CART's presence in the entertainment industry and led by California Speedway executive Jay Lucas.
CART President and CEO Joseph Heitzler announced that Lucas has been named Vice President of Sports Entertainment as CART continues to evolve its marketing and communications approach.
Lucas, who has more than 20 years of sports entertainment experience in the Los Angeles area, most recently served as Assistant General Manager at California Speedway. His experience in public relations and marketing with California Speedway and the Los Angeles Dodgers, as well as in college sports, will serve as the foundation around which CART will build its sports entertainment program.
"Jay's extensive background in sports entertainment and his relationships with media throughout Los Angeles and Southern California make him a perfect choice for this newly created position," said Heitzler. "Jay is responsible for developing a strategic entertainment marketing direction for CART as well as managing that function for all of our racing series.
"The job Jay did at California Speedway with Penske Motorsports and International Speedway Corporation was well-regarded within the motorsports community and it allowed him to expand his relationships in the sports entertainment field. We are pleased he is becoming a business associate at CART."
In his position with CART, his responsibilities will focus on developing, managing and expanding the entertainment aspects of CART and the FedEx Championship Series while integrating the stars of the sport with other entertainment and media entities. He will manage all events that have an entertainment focus, such as the CART Sneak Preview and All-Star events as well as the annual CART Awards Banquet.
One of his initial tasks will be to coordinate and extend CART's promotional efforts surrounding the April 27 release of the motion picture, "Driven." The Franchise Pictures film, a Warner Brothers release, stars Sylvester Stallone and utilizes CART's FedEx Championship Series as a backdrop for the action drama about open-wheel racing.
Lucas, 43, has spent his entire career in the Los Angeles area. At California Speedway, which plays host to the annual CART FedEx Championship Series finale, Lucas oversaw all public relations activities and assisted with development of marketing strategies and the day-to-day operations of the 529-acre, 90,000-seat motorsports facility.
He joined the speedway when it opened in 1996 and served as the director of public relations in the track's inaugural year. He was promoted in 1997 to director of public relations for Penske Motorsports, where he oversaw the public relations efforts of four Penske-owned race venues, including the California facility. In 1999, Lucas was promoted to assistant general manager.
"This is a tremendous opportunity to bring my sports entertainment experience to an exciting and dynamic organization like CART and its FedEx Championship Series," Lucas said. "I have great respect for Joe and his team at CART, and I look forward to helping create opportunities for all consumers to see our product, familiarize themselves with our drivers, teams and sponsors and, at the same time, blend in the rich tradition of the past."
Prior to his stint with Penske Motorsports/ISC, Lucas worked with Los Angeles Dodgers from 1988-1996. During his last six years with the baseball club, he served as director of publicity, directing the daily operation of the team's publicity department and acting as the chief liaison between management, players and the media.
Before joining the Dodgers, Lucas held a variety of positions with the University of California, Santa Barbara; the Los Angeles Lakers; the California Angels; and Orange County-based TRW Information Services. He also served as a media liaison during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics for the U.S. men's basketball team.
Lucas graduated from California State University, Chico with a degree in Information and Communications Studies in 1981. He resides with his family in Chino Hills, Calif.
Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the FedEx Championship Series, which is comprised of 21 races in seven countries on four continents in 2001. Champions Michael Andretti (1991), Alex Zanardi (1997-98), Jimmy Vasser (1996) and Gil de Ferran (2000) are among the drivers who battle for the series title on oval circuits as well as temporary and permanent road courses. CART also owns and operates its top two development series - the Dayton Indy Lights Championship and the Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.cart.com.