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Brian Barnhart Leaves Position at IndyCar

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Entering the 2018 season, INDYCAR will have a new vice president of competition/race director as Brian Barnhart announced on Tuesday that he is vacating the position.

Barnhart was involved with INDYCAR in running the series for the past 23 years, beginning with serving as Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s track superintendent. From there, he was race director for 14 years, a race steward for two years, and has been the vice president of competition since May 2013.

“Brian Barnhart has been a fixture in INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1994, and truly long before that during his time with several of our teams,” said Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations. “He has been instrumental in our competition department’s work with manufacturers, teams and venues over the years, and played a lead role in contributions to safety development and implementation, as well as overseeing race control. We can’t thank him enough for his passion and dedication to his work. We wish him all the best in his next endeavor.”

He is set to remain involved with the sport, though, as he will serve as the team president for Harding Racing.

“I am so appreciative of my years at INDYCAR and with the Hulman-George family,” said Barnhart. “The opportunity from Harding Racing to return to the competition side of INDYCAR racing was too hard to pass. I am very excited about the incredible opportunity to work with Harding Racing and alongside Al Unser Jr. again.”

Led by Harding Group Owner and CEO Mike Harding, the team made their Verizon IndyCar Series debut in the 2017 Indianapolis 500 with Gabby Chaves behind the wheel. The 2015 Rookie of the Year placed ninth at Indianapolis, prior to a fifth at Texas Motor Speedway and 15th at Pocono Raceway.

“We are thrilled to have Brian join Harding Racing. Brian’s years of experience on both the IndyCar competition side and the operations side makes him an invaluable resource within the league,” said Mike Harding, owner of Harding Racing. “We have the legendary Al Unser, Jr., an incredibly talented young driver in Gabby Chaves, a hand-picked winning crew led by team manager, Larry Curry, and now Brian. He is the missing piece that will take Harding Racing to victory lane.”

They intend to run the full schedule this upcoming season with two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. serving the team as an executive consultant.

“I’m excited to partner with Brian again,” said team executive consultant, Al Unser Jr. “In our younger years, we won two Indianapolis 500s and two CART Championships together. I’m looking forward to celebrating many more victories with Brian and Harding Racing.”

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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Ashley McCubbin is currently studying journalism at the University of Guelph-Humber while writing for multiple websites. She also serves on the managing staff for a select few. Born in North York, Ontario, McCubbin currently lives in Bradford, Ontario and spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area where she enjoys taking photos and working on websites.

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