Andretti’s organization truly “gets it” with 2014 plans, expansions


One of the partner representatives at Monday’s Andretti Autosport 2014 team reveal referred to the Andretti family as a brand, which is a good and accurate description. And just in the last five years, Michael Andretti’s own forging of his and his team’s stature has only enhanced the brand.

For a brief history lesson, the team was formerly known as Andretti Green Racing through 2009 but since the transition to its current iteration as Andretti Autosport in 2010, the team has, year-by-year, made methodical steps forward to emerge as one of the key players on the overall North American motorsports scene.

Of the three so-called “power teams” in IndyCar – Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport – only Andretti was committed enough to developing and nurturing future stars in all three rungs of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system. And the results are already evident with his 2014 driver lineup: the only drivers who didn’t race for an Andretti ladder team are Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe, and both of them have extensive ladder histories anyway before they moved into IndyCar.

But Marco Andretti and Carlos Munoz (Indy Lights, now IndyCar), Matthew Brabham (Pro Mazda, now Indy Lights), Zach Veach (Pro Mazda and USF2000, now Indy Lights), Shelby Blackstock and Garett Grist (USF2000, now Pro Mazda) have all raced with Andretti’s teams in the past before advancing with the team to their current seats.

It’s with that information that unfortunately the team’s USF2000 program is the casualty of its expanding horizons as an overall company. But something had to go given the team’s 2014 aspirations and commitments.

The Andretti organization – through its Andretti Autosport team and Andretti Sports Marketing arms – is truly well-positioned in other forms of motorsport to weather whatever economic storm could hit and the key foresight to be able to explore what could be “the next big thing” in motorsports.

Andretti Sports Marketing (based in Indianapolis, with satellite offices in Toronto, New York, & Ft. Lauderdale) promotes one IndyCar race, the Milwaukee IndyFest, which now, thanks to that team’s efforts has an overflow of corporate partners. The result is a tongue-twister – the ABC Supply Co. Inc. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest presented by the Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers – but it now has date (August) and sponsor stability that other races on the IndyCar calendar could crave.

To replace the Baltimore race that was dropped mainly due to a date clash, the ASM team has expanded into FIA Formula E, both as a team and now race promoter of its Miami event, and just Monday officially into Global Rallycross with VW.

Andretti, in his new joint roles as CEO, team principal and race strategist remains humble in public comments and thankful for the opportunities, even though he’s been the driving force for both organizations’ forward momentum.

“My whole career, just driving, to be able to do it and be halfway successful, and now to come out and have such a great group around me, it’s really exciting,” he said at Monday’s 2014 team launch. “I’ve been with the sport I love my whole life; I’m very lucky.”

Some of the other team members of note include J-F Thormann and John Lopes, along with a seemingly ever-expanding PR/marketing, sales and operations staff that keep the forward momentum moving.

Andretti’s organization has not branched into NASCAR, where with time, it could achieve another round of successful results as the Penske and Ganassi organizations have there. Ganassi’s team had a stellar 2010 season with sweeps of the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 with Jamie McMurray. Meanwhile over the last five years, Penske’s operation has won several dozens of races between Cup and Nationwide. Brad Keselowski secured the 2010 Nationwide and 2012 Sprint Cup championships, and Penske also secured the the owner’s championship in Nationwide in 2013.

Back to Andretti’s group, though, the organization has sought to be the best in every open-wheel discipline it enters. Since 2010, Andretti’s team has improved its IndyCar win total each year (5 in 2013, 4 in 2012, 3 in 2011, 2 in 2010). Overall, it has four IndyCar championships and two Indianapolis 500 victories. It has two Indy Lights titles (2008 with Raphael Matos, 2009 with JR Hildebrand). It has a crushing Pro Mazda title-winner in Brabham (2013); it had a USF2000 champion in Sage Karam (2010), who is one of the few ladder series drivers who didn’t advance fully up the ladder with the team.

Given that pedigree, it’s hard not to consider it a contender in FE, even though as a new series there’s no clue yet as to how the races will play out. It’s also hard to not consider it a contender in GRC.

And the organization’s status as a major mover-and-shaker in the business of racing, largely with race promotion but also in other areas and services, is not going unnoticed.

Even yesterday’s live stream of its 2014 team launch was another clear sign how much this organization “gets it.” One of the few sticking points most raise about IndyCar is how little of its content is live streamed. So here’s the Andretti group, that has brought in a new, forward-thinking, Austin-based social media and technology company called Cinsay and streams it on a new site called, which is designed to provide fans more access. Ironically, there were the occasional technical glitches, but don’t let that detract from the purpose of what the organization set out to do with the stream.

In an era where racing sponsorship is so hard to find, Andretti has managed to find not one but two new major primary sponsors to replace GoDaddy and the Venezuelan backing brought by E.J. Viso last year. The Cinsay and United Fiber & Data cars look great, too.

It’s the combination of all these things that sees Andretti Autosport and Andretti Sports Marketing ridiculously well-positioned in a notoriously tough business. If you haven’t been paying attention, now would be a good time to start.

Vicki Golden and 805 Beer tell a unique story from an Inverted Perspective


Vicki Golden has earned a career worthy of a thousand stories and 805 Beer tells at least one of them, as “Inverted Perspective” premiered March 30 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”. 

At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.

Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California. 

Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.

“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”

805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”

Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life. 

Women in SuperMotocross: Jordan Jarvis knows how tough it is

The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general. 

“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said.  “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”

Vicki Golden is not “fast for a girl”; she’s just fast. – 805 Beer

While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself. 

“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”

Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.

Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg. 

Women in SuperMotocross Ashley Fiolek is building community

Golden 805 Beer
Vicki Golden has ridden a variety of disciplines in SuperMotocross, which gives her a unique perspective. – 805 Beer

“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle. 

“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”

The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective. 

“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.

“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”