Scott Harner, who for over 25 years was a key member of Chip Ganassi Racing’s IndyCar success, surprised the IndyCar paddock last week when he announced he was leaving the team. On Friday, Harner was introduced as the vice president of operations for AJ Foyt Racing.

“I'm thrilled to have Scott joining AJ Foyt Racing,” said team president Larry Foyt. “He brings a great deal of experience and skills that will complement the team we have in place. Having a managerial presence in the Indianapolis shop was much needed, and when Scott became available, we knew he was the right person for the job.”

Harner will be based in the team’s race shop in Speedway, Indiana, just a few blocks from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Harner is from nearby Lafayette, Indiana, and began his racing career in 1985 as a mechanic, transport driver and spotter. Since 2000, Harner has worked as a team manager. Over the past 15 years, he was co-team manager of the Ganassi IndyCar team working alongside Barry Wanser.

In addition to managing the Indianapolis-based team, Harner will work with team director George Klotz, who oversees the Texas-based operation. Harner will serve as race strategist for Tony Kanaan and Klotz will become the race strategist for Matheus Leist, who is in his second year driving the No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet.

Prior to joining Ganassi, Harner spent five years as a mechanic and fabricator on John Menard’s IndyCar team.

In other team personnel news, Daniele Cucchiaroni is the race engineer for Leist, a role the Italian native has held in the past on the team. Mark Sampson, who joined the team last year, has become the crew chief for Kanaan’s crew. Technical director Eric Cowdin remains as Kanaan's race engineer.

The team will be testing at Sebring International Raceway this Monday, the second of four preseason tests on its schedule. The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg opens the season on the weekend of March 8-10.

Source: Autoweek

February 15, 2019