KVSH Racing partnering with Jonathan Byrd’s Racing for 2015 Indy 500

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A familiar Verizon IndyCar Series team will help Jonathan Byrd’s Racing in its return to the Indianapolis 500 next year.

KVSH Racing has confirmed that they’ll partner with the Byrd’s camp in fielding a car at the 2015 Indy for short-track powerhouse and former ‘500’ starter Bryan Clauson.

“When we first began discussions for this entry with the Byrd family, what came to mind was the campaign the Indianapolis Motor Speedway recently launched: ‘We all have a story,’ KVSH partner James “Sulli” Sullivan said in a team release.

“The Byrd’s have a storied history at the Speedway and we’re pleased to announce today they’ll be returning with KVSH Racing to start the next chapter of the Jonathan Byrd’s Racing story. We are excited to add another Indy 500 entry to the 2015 KVSH Racing lineup and stoked to have Bryan Clauson as our wheel man.

“I also think it is interesting to note that one of my partners, [team co-owner] Jimmy Vasser, was sponsored by Jonathan Byrd for his second Indy 500, so we have come full circle.”

Speaking on behalf of the Byrd family, David Byrd said that the addition of KVSH to his team’s program was “simply phenomenal.”

“The fact that we have our program in place a year in advance with what we hope is a long-term home for the Jonathan Byrd’s team, and to know that we are going to be able to provide Bryan with all of the resources he needs to win the 500 – I don’t think our family could ask for much more,” he said.

“It’s amazing to have a driver like Bryan put his faith in us to deliver for him and to stake his IndyCar future with us, and we are grateful to Kevin [Kalkhoven], Jimmy, Sulli, and the KVSH team for the opportunity to build with them.”

The Jonathan Byrd’s Racing name has not been seen in the ‘500’ since 2005, when it partnered with Panther Racing to field a car for 1996 Indy winner Buddy Lazier.

Today’s release stated that a testing schedule for Clauson is in development and will be announced when finalized.

“We have a lot of great things happening at Jonathan Byrd’s Racing, and aligning ourselves with KVSH Racing, a team which has competed many times at Indy and won the race, is a big step forward for our program,” said the multi-time USAC champion.

“KVSH knows firsthand what it takes to run up front at Indy, and having Jimmy Vasser there to lean on is going to be a huge bonus for me. I can’t wait to get to work.”

Al Unser Jr. back in IndyCar after a decade away: ‘Life is very good’

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There’s been somewhat of a hole in Al Unser Jr.’s heart ever since he retired from racing in 2007.

It was a void, something was missing.

But now, after a decade away from racing, Unser has found the right medicine to fill that hole in his heart: he’s back in the racing game again.

No, he’s not driving again (although he does participate occasionally in vintage races), but the two-time Indianapolis 500 (1992 and 1994) winner is definitely back in the IndyCar world.

And he couldn’t be happier.

“For me, it’s a dream come true,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “Since I stepped out of the race car and retired from racing, there’s been something missing from my life, and it’s racing.”

Unser has hooked up with Harding Racing. The team competed in three races last season as a ramp-up for a full 17-race effort this season. While Unser’s official title with the team is “consultant,” he’s involved in so much more.

His main role is as a driving coach to 2015 IndyCar Rookie of the Year Gabby Chaves. But he’s also involved in so many other areas, including helping the team obtain sponsorships and much more.

He then added, “I’m involved in every sense of the word except actually driving the car. And I’m happy about that because I’m too old to drive the car.”

Unser, who won CART championships in 1990 and 1994, is now 55. He’s so involved with his new job that he even moved from his native New Mexico and has relocated to suburban Indianapolis.

Not only is it a new start for Unser, it also is for Chaves. After running all 16 races in 2015 for Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian, he competed in just seven races for Dale Coyne Racing in 2016 and only three races for Harding Racing last season.

But he definitely impressed the team, with a fifth- (Texas) and ninth-place (Indianapolis 500) finish in the first two races and 15th (Pocono) in the team’s final run of the season.

That’s why when Harding Racing decided to go fulltime in 2018, Chaves was their pick for behind the wheel. And Unser was their pick to help guide him to potential stardom in the series.

“(Team owner) Mike Harding is definitely a person that when he decides to do something, he does it right,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “The potential for this organization is through the sky. We’re all working really hard here and we see the potential.”

And as for Unser?

“Life is good, life is very good,” he told IndyCar.com. “We’re back full force, eager and better than ever.”

Click here for the full story about Unser from IndyCar.com.