Courtesy John Griffin, IRL
INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2005 The Indy Racing League announced that Senior Vice President of Business Affairs Ken Ungar has decided to leave the League’s front office after the 2005 IRL IndyCar® Series season. Ungar joined the League in 2001 as its Vice President of Business Affairs, after serving as the first Chief of Staff at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for five years.
“After many years in the sport of IndyCar racing, it is time to consider new challenges,” Ungar said. “In order to openly consider several unique opportunities, while ensuring a seamless transition for the League, I wanted to publicly announce my intention to leave my current position.”
“For the past nine years, Ken has been an integral part of my executive team,” said Tony George, IMS and IRL CEO. “We will miss his contribution to our sport.”
Ungar’s responsibilities as IMS chief of staff included supervision of the Executive Office, the Human Resources department and general policy issues facing the Speedway. He led IMS’ participation in the Motorsports Alliance LLC, a partnership with International Speedway Corporation of Daytona Beach, Fla., to establish Chicagoland Speedway, a 1.5-mile oval in Joliet, Ill.
Ungar was also instrumental in the development of “Hulman Memorial Way,” a $3.2-million roadway beautification project in Speedway, Ind., honoring the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and its founders.
During his tenure as the League’s business leader, Ungar helped negotiate the League’s current long term broadcast agreement with ABC Sports and ESPN, built the Public Relations, Sales, Marketing, and Broadcast Relations staffs, put together the League’s initiative to convert its fuel to ethanol, and initiated grassroots fan-building programs like the award-winning IndyCar Series Fan Experience and DownForce, the League’s official fan club.
“We are proud of Ken’s contribution to the League’s growth, including improvement in event attendance and television viewership,” said Brian Barnhart, IRL President & COO. “His work lays a strong foundation for future success.”
Ungar also serves on the boards of the United States Auto Club, the National Motorsports Council, and Raceway Associates, LLC (Chicagoland Speedway).