INDYCAR names Jay Frye, Rod Davis to new leadership roles

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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.

Houston Supercross by the numbers: Five riders begin to gap the field

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Chase Sexton stumbled in San Diego and Eli Tomac had a hard fall in Anaheim 2, but the Monster Energy Supercross numbers for Houston suggest they will continue to be the ones to beat in Houston. To do so, they will have to turn back challenges from another pair of riders who have swept the top five in the first three rounds and another with a worst finish of sixth.

Houston Supercross numbers
Cooper Webb’s ability to close races makes him a Houston favorite. – Feld Motor Sports

Despite an accident in his heat in San Diego that sent him to the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ), Sexton recovered to score a top-five that weekend. His podium finish in Anaheim 1 and overall win last week in Anaheim 2 makes him one of the three riders with a perfect top-five record. He is joined by Cooper Webb, who finished second in the first two rounds and fourth last week, and Ken Roczen, whose consistency in the first three races contributed to him grabbing the top spot in this week’s NBC Supercross Power Rankings.

There are reasons to believe Webb and Roczen can keep those streaks alive.

Webb is the only multiple winner at Supercross’ current Houston stadium. His pair of wins came in 2019 and 2021, the same year he won his two 450 championships.

Clinton Fowler points out this week, that Webb has carried that strength into 2023. Webb had a late surge in Anaheim 1, advancing from fifth to second in the final six laps. In San Diego, he set his ninth fastest lap with two to go and his eighth fastest on the final lap. He posted his fastest lap of Anaheim 2 on Lap 12 while the rest of the field did so on Lap 6 on average.

By comparison, Tomac set his 14th fastest lap on the final circuit in route to winning the Main at San Diego while he was trying to keep Webb at bay.

With a sixth at San Diego, Dylan Ferrandis barely missed sweeping the top five in his first three races as did Tomac with a sixth last week at Anaheim 2.

This will be the 46th year Supercross has visited Houston and with 55 races the city is tied for the second-most with Detroit.

Jim Pomeroy won the first race in the Astrodome during the inaugural season of 1974 on a 250, which was the premiere class at the time. Houston was one of three races held that year along with events at Daytona International Speedway and the Los Angeles Coliseum. All three venues return in 2023 with the first SuperMotocross championship finale returning to the famed LA Coliseum in September.

Webb won most recently in 2021 in the final race of three held there that year as the series executed a strategy of racing in residencies to limit travel during height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tomac and Justin Barcia also won in Houston in 2021.

Two privateers have started the season on a high note.

Joshua Cartwright and Joshua Varize have each made the last two Mains. Cartwright finished 18th in San Diego and 21st last week in Anaheim 2 – all while working fulltime as a Business Intelligence Analyst at the University of Texas, Dallas. Varize earned a top-15 (12th) in San Diego and was 21st in Anaheim 2 in his third season on a 450.

Michael Mosiman scored his first 250 win last year in San Diego. – Feld Motor Sports

The numbers show none of the active 250 Supercross East riders have won in Houston, so no matter who steps on top of the box, there is going to be a fresh face. That is not surprising since most of the top competitors have not raced at this venue yet.

Michael Mosiman has a pair of top-fives there, however. His best finish was a second in the second 2021 race. Garrett Marchbanks scored a top-10 in his rookie season of 2019 in Houston.

In the 250 East division, Hunter Lawrence is one of the favorites to win the title now that Christian Craig has moved to 450s. Last year he had four wins and nine podiums, but failed to set a fast lap in a race.

The other 250 riders with 2022 wins this week are Mosiman, who earned his first Supercross win last year in San Diego, and Nate Thrasher, who became the fifth new class winner at Daytona.

Jeremy Martin will attempt to extend a record this week in Houston. His division leading SuperMotocross podiums number 65. He has 26 wins in the combined sessions, which ranks fourth all time.

Last Five Houston Winners

450s
2022, no race
2021, Race 3: Cooper Webb
2021, Race 2: Eli Tomac
2021, Race 1: Justin Barcia
2020, no race
2019, Cooper Webb
2018, Jason Anderson

250s
2022, no race
2021, Race 3: Colt Nichols
2021, Race 2: Jett Lawrence
2021, Race 1: Christian Craig
2020, no race
2019, Dylan Ferrandis
2018, Aaron Plessinger

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

More SuperMotocross coverage

Supercross unveils 16th edition of a Ricky Carmichael designed Daytona track
Power Rankings after week 3
Malcom Stewart out for “extended duration” after knee surgery
Haiden Deegan makes Supercross debut in Houston, Justin Cooper to 450s
Talon Hawkins set to relieve injured Jalek Swoll in Houston
Jalek Swoll out for an indefinite period with broken arm
Ken Roczen urgently needed a change
Chris Blose joins Pro Circuit Kawasaki in 250 East opener
Seth Hammaker to miss Houston with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list
Injury sidelines Austin Forkner for remainder of 2023 SX
Chase Sexton wins Anaheim 2 in 450s; Levi Kitchen takes 250s
Results and points from Anaheim 2