Lehman Racing Sold to Group of Investors Kenny Koretsky, Mike Kloeber, and Clay Millican Buy Winningest Team in IHRA History Chicago - June 9, 2005 Peter Lehman, owner of Peter Lehman Racing, LLC, sold his company to a group of investors, led by...
Lehman Racing Sold to Group of Investors Kenny Koretsky, Mike Kloeber, and Clay Millican Buy Winningest Team in IHRA History
Chicago - June 9, 2005 Peter Lehman, owner of Peter Lehman Racing, LLC, sold his company to a group of investors, led by NHRA Pro Stock driver Kenny Koretsky, that includes crew chief Mike Kloeber and driver Clay Millican.
After meeting in 1997, Millican and Lehman traveled to a race in Darlington, S.C. together, and Lehman used the experience to write a college paper. The two remained friends, and in 2000 Lehman started his race team with Millican, at the time a sportsman racer, as the team's Top Fuel driver. The team has enjoyed a great deal of success ever since, winning the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Top Fuel championship four years in a row (2001-2004), and becoming the winningest professional team in the league's history with a current total of 40 wins. Additionally, the team has raced in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) on a part-time basis, and advanced to three final rounds in that league.
Lehman made the decision to sell the team after being presented with a leadership position in a new asset management firm. Lehman has a background in private equity investment and portfolio management, and is currently in the process of forming a new company, Gordian Investment Partners, with two partners. While he has greatly enjoyed owning the team, he did not initially expect it to be a full-time venture, and feels that it will be run more effectively by a group who can devote all of their time and attention to it.
"I have had more than five memorable years with this team," said Lehman. "Of course it is emotional for me to sell it, but I feel that I have been very successful in this venture, and that I can exit this phase of my career with a great deal of pride in the business we built. I plan to continue to help the guys out in any way that I can. I want to thank all of our sponsors for their great contribution to this team's success over the years because without their support we wouldn't have been able to accomplish all that we have."
Lehman's new venture will take an unconventional and entrepreneurial approach to investing. The company will focus on investing in generally uncultivated and inefficiently priced corporate equity and debt in both private and public enterprises. The group anticipates having in excess of $100 million of capital to invest by the end of the first quarter of 2006.
With the sale of Lehman Racing, nearly all aspects of the team will remain the same, including the crew, driver, and race schedule. The team's race shop will remain in Atoka, Tenn., while Kloeber will continue to reside in Washington state and Koretsky will run his end of the operation from Pennsylvania. Lehman will continue to assist the team throughout the transition with the new owners, as well as with the marketing and sales aspects of the business.
"I feel like I am leaving the team in good hands. Kenny Koretsky is an amazing businessman and entrepreneur, and is more than capable of stepping into my shoes as the financial and strategic leader of the team," said Lehman. "And, of course, Mike, Clay, and our guys are the best in the business. They'll have no trouble."
Koretsky, the lead investor in the group who bought Lehman Racing, has been involved in drag racing for over 30 years, and is very familiar with the workings of a top race team. In addition to driving Pro Stock cars on the NHRA circuit, Koretsky is the President and CEO of KPK Development, a real estate investment firm. He has also raced Top Fuel, and became the first-ever driver to qualify a Top Fuel dragster and Pro Stock car at the same event at the NHRA national event in Phoenix in 1989.