Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan
The formation of Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan was announced on Monday, February 5, 2018. It is led by veteran driver and team owner Dale Coyne, 1996 IndyCar champion Jimmy Vasser and sports marketer James “Sulli” Sullivan. The team will campaign the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan driven by Sebastien Bourdais for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
Dale Coyne Racing has a long and storied history in Indy car racing. Starting in 1984 as an owner/driver, Dale Coyne ran seven seasons in CART. In 1990, he focused his efforts on the tutelage of several up-and-coming drivers. In July 2009, the team celebrated its first win with Justin Wilson at Watkins Glen. Wilson would also win at Texas Motor Speedway in 2012, and Mike Conway added a third in the first race of the 2013 Belle Isle doubleheader weekend. Rookie Carlos Huertas made a surprising run to the checkered flag to win the first Houston race in 2014, notching the team’s fourth career triumph while Sebastien Bourdais marked his return to the team by winning the 2017 season opener at St. Petersburg.
Vasser and Sullivan previously successfully collaborated and were partners at KV Racing Technology and KVSH Racing, The combination won six races including the 2013 Indianapolis 500 with driver Tony Kanaan and five more over the next three years (2014-2016) with Bourdais behind the wheel.
Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan is based in Plainfield, Ill., about 40 miles southwest of downtown Chicago.
Jimmy Vasser, the 1996 IndyCar Series champion is one of the most recognized and respected names in racing. He competed in 14 full seasons plus one race in 2006 and 2008 (both at Long Beach) and was co-owner of KV Racing Technology from 2004-2016 and KVSH Racing 2014-2016.
Vasser holds some of the finest credentials in U. S. open-wheel racing history. In addition to his championship, he was runner-up in 1998 and third in 1997. Vasser stands among the leaders in most of the career statistical records and has won some of racing’s most coveted trophies including: The PPG Cup in 1996, the Best Driver ESPY Award in 1997; the Borg Warner Trophy (as an owner) in 2013 and the Vanderbilt Cup for his victory at the inaugural U. S. 500 in 1996. In addition to the U. S. 500, his major race wins include: two victories at California Speedway, the Marlboro 500 in 1998 and his last career win in 2002 (his average speed of 197.995 mph was the fastest 500-mile race in U.S. history until 2014). Vasser also had victories at such famous races as the Long Beach Grand Prix and Surfers Paradise, Australia in 1996, Nazareth Speedway and the Milwaukee Mile in 1998, Laguna Seca Raceway, 1997 and Houston in 2000.
Vasser was the 1986 SCCA National Formula Ford champion (winning the SCCA President’s Cup) and was a 24 Hours of Daytona class winner in 1992. His prime years were spent away from the Indy 500 due to the CART-IRL split, however he did win the three 500-mile races and his 1996 championship was the first for Honda in IndyCar competition. Vasser started 238 races including a then record 211 consecutive starts.
A successful business man in his own right, Vasser owns Chevrolet and Toyota dealerships as well as V12 Vineyards in Napa, CA.
James “Sulli” Sullivan
James Sullivan, known as “Sulli”, founded SH Racing in 2010. He formed an alliance with KV Racing Technology in 2011, as a co-entrant at the Indianapolis 500 finishing eighth in his debut. The alliance continued for two more seasons and included a victory in the 2013 Indy 500.
In 2014, Sulli announced the creation of KVSH Racing with Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser. Sulli also owned the highly successful SH Rallycross team that competed in Red Bull Global Rallycross taking the Bronze Medal in the 2014 X Games and has fielded successful teams in Supercross and Motocross.
In addition to racing, Sulli co-founded sports nutrition supplement Protein Bullet and the Dallas-based private equity fund Modena Capital Group. He graduated from Baylor University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Entrepreneurship and Marketing.