COTA announces CEO change; Jason Dial takes over from Steve Sexton

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One of the founding architects of Circuit of the Americas in Austin has left the company. Track CEO Steve Sexton will leave his position and president Jason Dial will assume that role as well. Dial joined Circuit of the Americas a little more than one month ago.

“This was a tough decision for me to make, but the timing is right,” Sexton said in a track-issued release. “Our team’s accomplishments in the last three years have been remarkable, and I am very proud and privileged to have worked with a group of experienced and dedicated individuals, who’ve proven time and again that nothing is impossible.

“The enormous effort required to build and launch an internationally renowned company in a matter of months has left little time for anything but work,” he added. “I’m looking forward to taking a break and spending time with my family who sacrificed a lot while we were fully focused on opening the circuit and putting COTA on a path for long-term success.”

I had the opportunity to speak with Dial heading into the weekend, and he estimated a crowd of more than 250,000 would attend the three days of the United States Grand Prix. When official numbers were released Sunday afternoon, that target was achieved.

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
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INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)