- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 13, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Chris Griffis, the team manager for Sam Schmidt Motorsports’ Indy Lights team, has died. He was 46.

The team said he died Monday night near Indianapolis. The Hamilton County coroner didn’t provide a cause of death.

After hiring Griffis, a native of Akron, Ind., in 2004, Schmidt’s teams won 46 races and four Indy Lights titles. He also worked with Schmidt’s Indianapolis 500 drivers the past three seasons and was crew chief for Panther Racing’s Mark Taylor, the 2003 Indy Lights champ.

Griffis worked with Indy winners Gordon Johncock and Emerson Fittipaldi at Patrick Racing in the 1980s. He joined Chip Ganassi’s team in 1990, then moved to Bernstein Racing in 1993. He stayed there until joining Panther in 2002.

Griffis is survived by his wife, Mari, and two daughters.