INDYCAR names Jay Frye, Rod Davis to new leadership roles

Leave a comment

INDYCAR has announced two leadership role changes on Thursday.

Jay Frye, who had served as chief revenue officer of Hulman Motorsports, will take over Derrick Walker’s old role as president of competition and operations.

Rod Davis will take over Frye’s position; Davis has served in several senior executive roles with various sports organizations.

The full release from INDYCAR is below, with a teleconference to follow at the top of the hour.

Hulman & Company CEO Mark Miles announced today that widely respected motorsports industry veteran Jay Frye has been named President of Competition and Operations for INDYCAR. Frye previously served as Chief Revenue Officer for Hulman Motorsports after decades of experience leading successful NASCAR racing teams and securing industry first sponsorships.

“Jay Frye’s resume is perfectly aligned with our organization’s strategic vision,” said Miles. “He has both series and team experience, having successfully transformed and led Red Bull Racing and MB2 Motorsports before joining Hulman Motorsports. As our new President of Competition and Operations, he is ready to ensure the Verizon IndyCar Series continues to present great racing.”

Frye will be responsible for all operations, competition and technical matters for INDYCAR. He will report to Miles, who as CEO of the parent of INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will set strategy and oversee all aspects of the series. Frye first arrived at Hulman Motorsports after revamping Red Bull Racing into a competitive team that earned a berth in the 2009 NASCAR Chase. He also built MB2 Motorsports from the ground up beginning with just 10 employees and ultimately reaching 200. He won four NASCAR Cup races as a team manager.

Two longtime Verizon IndyCar Series and NASCAR team owners know all too well how difficult it is to
compete against Frye and heaped praise upon today’s announcement.

“Jay Frye’s vast understanding of our industry’s entire field of play, developed most especially through his strong work in NASCAR, makes him uniquely prepared for this new opportunity,” said Roger Penske, owner of Penske Racing. “He understands our technical and competition issues and he will develop solutions that work for fans, teams and the series. As the new President of Competition and Operations, he is prepared to ensure INDYCAR’s positive momentum keeps moving forward.”

“Jay Frye brings an exceptional resume, tireless work ethic and proven ability to produce results to his new role with INDYCAR,” said Chip Ganassi, owner of Chip Ganassi Racing. “During our years competing against each other in NASCAR, I witnessed firsthand Jay’s ability to successfully run a top-notch organization. He’s a proven leader and as a team owner I am excited to work with him as we embark upon a truly monumental season.”

Taking over Frye’s vacated position will be Rod Davis, formerly serving in senior executive roles with the Indiana Sports Corporation, USA Gymnastics, RCA Championships and USA Swimming. Throughout his career, Davis has secured nearly $100 million in revenue through sponsorships, broadcast revenue and event fees while working with top global brands such as Panasonic, Coca-Cola, John Hancock, VISA and adidas. After founding Davis Sports Marketing a decade ago, he has represented leading organizations such as the NCAA, University of Notre Dame, Dale Earnhardt Inc. and USA Track & Field.

“As our new Chief Revenue Officer, Rod Davis will successfully execute sponsorship deals already in the pipeline and find new partnerships to increase revenue and market share,” said Miles. “His proven
ability to build mutually beneficial relationships with leading Fortune 500 companies will pay dividends
for both IMS and the Verizon IndyCar Series.”

“Hulman Motorsports has hired one of the most creative minds and effective fundraisers and marketers in the sports industry,” said University of Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick. “Rod’s track record with a host of major sports properties over many years suggests that he will have an overwhelmingly positive impact on the future of both IMS and INDYCAR.”

“Rod Davis is a proven leader in sales and sponsor relations who understands the sports business and knows how to effectively build partnerships between sports properties and private sector companies,” added USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
Leave a comment

As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”