Davis Brings Realm of Experience to Heritage Motorsports
(Indianapolis, IN) When the Indy Racing League rolls into Richmond, VA for the first time on June 30, Heritage Motorsports team manager Mitch Davis will be a little extra prepared for the challenge. This is not the first time Davis will bring a new race team to the Richmond track. In 1988, Davis assisted in the formation of Jack Roush's new NASCAR team with Mark Martin. The team raced in Richmond twice that year, finishing 25th and fourth, respectively.
The next year, Davis began his thirteen-year run in open wheel racing, making him one of the most experienced men in the IRL. Davis is counting on his wide range of experience this weekend when he leads another new team into Richmond for the first time. "I'm looking forward to bringing a new team into Richmond," Davis said. "This is a challenging track. It will be very important in this race to qualify and stay up front. Similar to NASCAR, I expect a lot of side by side racing. But the Indy cars offer an extra element; more speed."
It's the extra speed that lulled Davis from the NASCAR circuit into open wheel racing. The technical challenge of designing the correct set-up for a 200-mile per hour car for competition is the IRL's greatest appeal, according to Davis. His full attention has been devoted to designing Heritage Motorsports' set-up for the Richmond race on Saturday. Unable to test at the unfamiliar track, the team will be relying on Davis' previous experience at the Richmond International Raceway to concoct a race-winning set-up.
"Jeff (Ward, driver for Heritage Motorsports) always runs well on short tracks," Davis said. "Although we've not tested the car at Richmond, we have plenty of notes to work with, and we'll be using every minute of our practice time. I'm confident that we'll have a good weekend." There's a lot to be said about Davis' confidence. He has worked in the IRL since its inception, where he has been instrumental in the foundation of many teams. Since 1996, Davis has led teams such as, Galles Racing, Team Cheever, ISM Racing, Pagan Racing, Team Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and Team Menard. He's made a successful career out of leading new teams to success.
So far this season, Davis has led the new Heritage Motorsports team and Jeff Ward to three top 10 finishes and one pole. And he's looking to enhance that record this weekend at Richmond. ÓMitch is the hardest working man in racing I know," driver Jeff Ward said. "Besides the time he makes for his family, Mitch is completely focused on racing. He never quits, and he always steps up to do whatever needs to be done."
His hard work and proven track record have earned him respect from many different realms of racing.
"Mitch is one of the cornerstones of this team," Jim Rathmann, co-owner of Heritage Motorsports, said. "Everyone looks to Mitch for leadership, and we all trust his ability. He's been in this business a long time, and he knows how to make great things happen." "Mitch delivers results," John Mecom III, co-owner of Heritage Motorsports, said. "He has an uncanny ability to anticipate exactly how the car will react to different changes. And, he never shows his complete hand before race day. I know he has the skill and experience to take the team to victory in Richmond."
Practice for the Suntrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway begins Thursday, June 28, with qualifying Friday. The race begins at 8 pm on Saturday and will air on ESPN.