INDIANAPOLIS – On Wednesday morning, Harding Racing announced that they have signed Brian Barnhart to become the Team President for the upcoming Verizon IndyCar Series season. The team is looking forward to making a full-time effort in the series in 2018 and with the addition of Barnhart and several other key members, they’re doing it the right way.
Just take a look at some of their personnel.
Barnhart, 56, has spent a ton of time in varying management roles within the series itself. In fact, he spent several years a the head of race control. Even before that, he was on pit crews, including on the 1992 Indianapolis 500 winning one for Al Unser Jr.
Speaking of Unser, he’s the team consultant. Unser, 55, won two Indy 500 crowns and 34 career victories which rank him eighth on the all-time series wins list. Between himself, his dad Al Unser Sr. and his uncle Bobby Unser, the trio have combined to win nine Indy 500’s, six championships and 108 trips to victory lane. Al Sr. (39 wins) ranks fifth all-time while Bobby (35 wins) is seventh.
That’s a great family pedigree that Unser brings to the table.
Then there’s the team manager Larry Curry. He too has a vast array of motorsports success. Curry, had a ton of success in the 90’s, including leading Tony Stewart to the 1997 IRL title.
Now, the trio form a very powerful front office, which could lead this start-up team with even more success in 2018.
In 2017, the team ran three races, the first in the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500. Gabby Chaves drove a great race and would bring the No. 88 Chevrolet home ninth. In their next start, two weeks later at Texas, Chaves came home a career-best fifth. In their final start of the season at Pocono, they had a strong weekend going before winding up 15th.
Now, I sense this group could do something special in 2018. Don’t be shocked if so. They’re building their team the right way with great people and resources.