- India diplomat who touts women’s rights busted for $3 wage to nanny
- MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid $252K by unions in 2012-2013
- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
- Obama ‘birther’ theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- U.S. drone faulted for killing 14 ‘innocent civilians’ at Yemen wedding
- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
Mark Johnson: KV Racing general manager resigns
The whirlwind courtship and preseason signing of former Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello had many believing KV Racing would take a big step this season toward becoming one of the IndyCar’s more competitive teams. Instead, Tony Kanaan’s third-place finish in the Indianapolis 500 was one of the few highlights.
“When he joined the team, we set out on a quest to make KVRT one of the most respected and competitive teams in the series, which I think we achieved,” team co-owner Jimmy Vasser said Thursday. “There were a lot of forks in the road, series mergers, driver changes, new equipment and new rules. Throughout it all, Mark was a guiding force. You just don’t replace the leadership and experience of Mark Johnson.”
Johnson’s resignation comes as the team faces an offseason of uncertainty.
Only Kanaan is under contract to return. There has been speculation Barrichello is moving to another team and E.J. Viso is exploring several options that include owning his own team. There’s also been discussion that KV Racing could go from a three-car team to a one-car team in 2013, or possibly merge with another small organization.
Kanaan, who had three podium finishes this season, said earlier this month the team got “extremely overwhelmed” by the preseason expectations.
“It’s easy to get the right people in place, but then you’ve got to make all those people communicate well and work well together,” he said. “We are not Penske yet and we are not Ganassi yet. Yes, we have three cars, and from the outside you look at it and it’s the same organization and the same layout and we are well dressed and have nice scooters. But we have to understand that once you get all these good people together, it takes a little bit of time for everybody to adjust.”
Kanaan also said the expectations were far too high on Barrichello, who drove an IndyCar for the first time in January and was competing full-time two months later. He also wasn’t granted rookie status by series officials, and that cost Barrichello track time during race weekends. He’d also never raced on an oval before this year.
Barrichello had a season-best finish of fourth at Sonoma, where he tested this year, and five top-10 finishes in 15 races. But, his 11th-place finish in the Indy 500 was best among race rookies.
“Rubens, it’s a heavy name, but he’s still a rookie, no matter what you say,” Kanaan said. “Rubens needed me a lot more than I could use him. And E.J. made huge progress from years past. But for us, the expectations were extremely high. I spent a lot of my time helping them, instead of the other way around. We as far as a team need to do a better job of communicating and use all the people and staff to be able to do it. And even then it doesn’t mean you are going to be successful.”
“A lot has transpired since I joined the team in 2006,” he said in a statement. “I am very happy to have been given the opportunity to contribute to so many of the different projects, both in growing the team and in series initiatives.”
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- U.S. Navy-China showdown: Chinese try to halt U.S. cruiser in international waters
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Billy Graham near death, close to going home to be with the Lord
- Obama birther theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- KEENE: James Clapper should resign for lying to Congress
- Kim Jong-un consolidating power or losing grip on North Korea's military
- STEVENS: Resisting the seduction of housing speculation
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Implement these actionable tips, how-to’s and best practices in 10 minutes or less to leverage online communications and technology for brand, business and career development.
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow