Jimmy Vasser

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Jimmy Vasser
Vasser08gplb.JPG
Vasser at Long Beach in 2008
Nationality American
Born (1965-11-20) November 20, 1965 (age 49)
Canoga Park, California, U.S.
Championship titles
1996 PPG Indy Car World Series Champion
Champ Car career
233 race(s) run over 16 year(s)
Years active 1992-2006, 2008
Team(s) Hayhoe/Cole Racing (1992–1994)
Target Chip Ganassi Racing (1995–2000)
Patrick Racing (2001)
Rahal Letterman Racing (2002)
American Spirit Team Johansson (2003)
PKV Racing (2004–2006)
KV Racing (2008)
Best finish 1st - 1996
First race 1992 Dailkyo IndyCar Grand Prix (Surfers Paradise)
Last race 2008 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Long Beach)
First win 1996 Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami (Homestead)
Last win 2002 The 500 Presented by Toyota (California)
Wins Podiums Poles
10 33 8
NASCAR Nationwide Series career
2 race(s) run over 1 year(s)
Best finish 97th – 2003
First race 2003 Koolerz 300 (Daytona)
Last race 2003 GNC Live Well 250 (Milwaukee)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0

Jimmy Vasser (born November 20, 1965 in Canoga Park, California) is a retired American racing driver and current co-owner of KV Racing Technology. Vasser won the 1996 IndyCar season championship with Chip Ganassi Racing, and scored ten victories in the series.[1] Vasser was the last American to win the Champ Car championship.

Driving career[edit]

Vasser made his CART debut in 1992 and qualified for the Indianapolis 500, setting a record for the fastest qualifying run by a first-year driver.[2] Although he did become a top driver, his rise to prominence coincided with the CART–IRL split, so Vasser's best years were spent away from the Indianapolis 500. He has raced in the event on a one-off basis a few times since, finishing as high as fourth in the 2001 race.

Vasser won four races in 1996 and did enough to maintain a lead in the standings for most of the season, clinching the championship at the season's final race.[3] Teammate Alex Zanardi outperformed him over the next two years, winning the points championship both years.[4] Vasser teamed with Juan Pablo Montoya in 1999, finishing ninth in the points standings. In 2000, his last year with Chip Ganassi Racing, Vasser won the Houston Grand Prix for his first victory since 1998.[5]

For 2001, Vasser moved to the Pat Patrick team to drive the #40 Reynard Toyota. Despite having limited sponsorship for the car at first, Vasser started the season strong with four straight finishes of 4th to 6th place. Continuing the strong start to 2001, Jimmy was reunited with Target Chip Ganassi Racing driving for them in the Indianapolis 500. Jimmy ran well and finish 4th place as ChampCar drivers swept the top five spots at the 500. However, once returning to the ChampCar circuit, back to back crashes in race #5 at Milwaukee and race #6 at Detroit seemed to derail the season as Jimmy finished the final sixteen races of the season with only four more finishes of 5th to 7th.

After a disappointing year without even a podium, Vasser was able to secure the seat of the #8 Shell Lola Ford with Rahal Letterman Racing for 2002 which had finished 2nd in ChampCar points the previous season. In the Shell car, Vasser showed some muscle at Long Beach scoring the pole, leading laps late, and finishing 2nd behind Michael Andretti. Vasser and Rahal Letterman also crossed over into the IRL where they ran the IRL race in Fontana to prepare for Indianapolis and then the Indianapolis 500. Success was limited as Vasser scored only a 9th at Fontana and a gearbox failure cut short his Indy 500 race. Vasser's 2002 season in the Shell car was much improved over the previous year with Patrick Racing. Vasser really finished the year strong with scoring points in each of the final nine races including a podium at Miami and a dominating win at Fontana after a late-race pass of Michael Andretti. Vasser's Fontana win was to be the final win of his ChampCar career.

Without sponsorship at Rahal for 2003, Vasser had to look for opportunities with other teams and without many seats available for the 38 year old he ended up with Stefan Johansson's startup American Spirit team. The team was not fully funded and they ran the Reynard chassis which were not up to the pace of the current Lola chassis cars. Additionally, Reynard had gone bankrupt so further development of the chassis had to be taken on by the teams so the performance gap to the Lolas continue to widen during the season. Except for a couple of fourth place finishes, leading 15 laps at Cleveland, and podium at Surfer's Paradise in a wet/dry race the season was not very successful as rookie teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay was outpacing Vasser. Vasser reunited with Rahal Letterman for his final run at an Indianapolis 500 win but was again sidelined with gearbox failure during the race.

In 2004 he became co-owner of PKV Racing (later renamed to KV Racing Technology) along with Dan Pettit and Kevin Kalkhoven and was a driver for the team. In 2004, he broke the modern CART–Champ Car record for the most consecutive starts.[6] Vasser retired from open wheel racing in 2006, but remains active in his ownership role. He temporarily came out of retirement to drive in the final Champ Car World Series event at the 2008 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.[7]

In 2006, Vasser competed in three Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series races, including the 24 Hours of Daytona, driving for GAINSCO/Blackhawk Racing. In 2007, he again drove for the renamed GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing at the 24 Hours of Daytona, and on Sept. 4, 2007, it was announced that he would return to the team for the season-ending Sunchaser 1000 km. Vasser drove again for Stallings' team beginning at Laguna Seca in May 2008, pairing with fellow Champ Car champion Cristiano da Matta.

In 2013, Vasser joined the Stadium Super Trucks, making his debut at Honda Indy Toronto.[8]

Early career[edit]

  • Won the 1986 Formula Ford National Championship, SCCA.[9]
  • Competed in the 1988 Corvette Challenge.
  • Competed in the 1989 and 1990 Pro F-2000 Canadian Championship. Vasser and his teammate Ken Murillo were sponsored by LucasFilm.
  • Competed in Atlantic Championship in 1990 and 1991 for Della Penna Motorsports.
  • Won the Formula Atlantic East/West Challenge in 1990.
  • Finished Runner-up (by 4 points Jovy Marcelo) in the 1991 season, six wins and seven pole positions.


Motorsports Career Results[edit]

American open–wheel racing results[edit]

(key)

Indy Lights[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Rank Points
1988 R & K Racing United States
PHX
United States
MIL
United States
POR
United States
CLE
Canada
TOR
United States
MWL
10
United States
POC
United States
MDO
United States
ROA
United States
NAZ
United States
LAG
United States
MIA
26th 3
1989 Barclay Racing United States
PHX
United States
LBH
United States
MIL
United States
DET
United States
POR
United States
MWL
Canada
TOR
United States
POC
United States
MDO
United States
ROA
United States
NAZ
United States
LAG
8
24th 5

CART/Champ Car[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Rank Points
1992 Hayhoe/Cole Racing Australia
SRF
Ret
United States
PHX
Ret
United States
LBH
7
United States
IND
Ret
United States
DET
United States
POR
Ret
United States
MIL
Ret
United States
NHA
Canada
TOR
Ret
United States
MIC
United States
CLE
14
United States
ROA
Canada
VAN
Ret
United States
MDO
Wth
United States
NAZ
DNQ
United States
LS
12
22nd 8
1993 Hayhoe/Cole Racing Australia
SRF
Ret
United States
PHX
3
United States
LBH
Ret
United States
IND
13
United States
MIL
8
United States
DET
Ret
United States
POR
11
United States
CLE
Canada
TOR
11
United States
MIC
United States
NHA
9
United States
ROA
Canada
VAN
Ret
United States
MDO
Ret
United States
NAZ
10
United States
LS
21
16th 30
1994 Hayhoe/Cole Racing Australia
SRF
4
United States
PHX
5
United States
LBH
Ret
United States
IND
4
United States
MIL
11
United States
DET
Ret
United States
POR
Ret
United States
CLE
Ret
Canada
TOR
Ret
United States
MIC
Ret
United States
MDO
14
United States
NHA
7
Canada
VAN
15
United States
ROA
Ret
United States
NAZ
13
United States
LS
Ret
15th 42
1995 Chip Ganassi Racing United States
MIA
8
Australia
SRF
Ret
United States
PHX
Ret
United States
LBH
Ret
United States
NAZ
Ret
United States
IND
Ret
United States
MIL
9
United States
DET
2
United States
POR
2
United States
ROA
3
Canada
TOR
Ret
United States
CLE
3
United States
MIC
7
United States
MDO
9
United States
NHA
6
Canada
VAN
Ret
United States
LS
8
8th 92
1996 Chip Ganassi Racing United States
MIA
1
Brazil
RIO
8
Australia
SRF
1
United States
LBH
1
United States
NAZ
7
United States
US5
1
United States
MIL
10
United States
DET
12
United States
POR
13
United States
CLE
10
Canada
TOR
8
United States
MIC
9
United States
MDO
2
United States
ROA
6
Canada
VAN
7
United States
LS
4
1st 154
1997 Chip Ganassi Racing United States
MIA
3
Australia
SRF
12
United States
LBH
9
United States
NAZ
5
Brazil
RIO
9
United States
GAT
5
United States
MIL
3
United States
DET
4
United States
POR
Ret
United States
CLE
13
Canada
TOR
7
United States
MIC
Ret
United States
MDO
5
United States
ROA
8
Canada
VAN
2
United States
LS
1
United States
FON
2
3rd 144
1998 Chip Ganassi Racing United States
MIA
16
Japan
MOT
7
United States
LBH
8
United States
NAZ
1
Brazil
RIO
6
United States
GAT
4
United States
MIL
1
United States
DET
6
United States
POR
8
United States
CLE
7
Canada
TOR
3
United States
MIC
2
United States
MDO
Ret
United States
ROA
9
Canada
VAN
Ret
United States
LS
5
United States
HOU
4
Australia
SRF
Ret
United States
FON
1
2nd 169
1999 Chip Ganassi Racing United States
MIA
4
Japan
MOT
12
United States
LBH
10
United States
NAZ
11
Brazil
RIO
Ret
United States
GAT
10
United States
MIL
4
United States
POR
12
United States
CLE
Ret
United States
ROA
Ret
Canada
TOR
8
United States
MIC
9
United States
DET
5
United States
MDO
4
United States
CHI
3
Canada
VAN
3
United States
LS
Ret
United States
HOU
Ret
Australia
SRF
Ret
United States
FON
5
9th 104
2000 Chip Ganassi Racing United States
MIA
4
United States
LBH
3
Brazil
RIO
2
Japan
MOT
Ret
United States
NAZ
7
United States
MIL
13
United States
DET
7
United States
POR
Ret
United States
CLE
8
Canada
TOR
9
United States
MIC
Ret
United States
CHI
8
United States
MDO
Ret
United States
ROA
5
Canada
VAN
6
United States
LS
8
United States
GAT
7
United States
HOU
1
Australia
SRF
3
United States
FON
Ret
6th 131
2001 Patrick Racing Mexico
MTY
6
United States
LBH
5
United States
FTW
Canc
United States
NAZ
4
Japan
MOT
5
United States
MIL
Ret
United States
DET
Ret
United States
POR
16
United States
CLE
5
Canada
TOR
Ret
United States
MIC
Ret
United States
CHI
14
United States
MDO
Ret
United States
ROA
Ret
Canada
VAN
Ret
Germany
LAU
15
United Kingdom
ROC
7
United States
HOU
11
United States
LS
5
Australia
SRF
6
United States
FON
12
12th 77
2002 Team Rahal Mexico
MTY
20
United States
LBH
2
Japan
MOT
20
United States
MIL
9
United States
LS
8
United States
POR
16
United States
CHI
17
Canada
TOR
6
United States
CLE
6
Canada
VAN
17
United States
MDO
8
United States
ROA
5
Canada
MTL
5
United States
DEN
10
United Kingdom
'ROC
7
United States
MIA
3
Australia
SRF
12
United States
FON
1
Mexico
MXC
11
7th 114
2003 American Spirit Team Johannson United States
STP
6
Mexico
MTY
14
United States
LBH
4
United Kingdom
BRH
19
Germany
LAU
8
United States
MIL
11
United States
LS
8
United States
POR
7
United States
CLE
13
Canada
TOR
13
Canada
VAN
11
United States
ROA
9
United States
MDO
15
Canada
MTL
16
United States
DEN
11
United States
MIA
4
Mexico
MXC
17
Australia
SRF
3
United States
FON
NH
11th 72
2004 PKV Racing United States
LBH
16
Mexico
MTY
12
United States
MIL
4
United States
POR
8
United States
CLE
5
Canada
TOR
2
Canada
VAN
10
United States
ROA
8
United States
DEN
17
Canada
MTL
8
United States
LS
17
United States
LVG
5
Australia
SRF
12
Mexico
MXC
5
8th 201^
2005 PKV Racing United States
LBH
9
Mexico
MTY
14
United States
MIL
5
United States
POR
6
United States
CLE
6
Canada
TOR
4
Canada
EDM
11
United States
SJO
11
United States
DEN
15
Canada
MTL
7
United States
LVG
3
Australia
SRF
3
Mexico
MXC
6
6th 217
2006 PKV Racing United States
LBH
14
United States
HOU
Mexico
MTY
United States
MIL
United States
POR
United States
CLE
Canada
TOR
Canada
EDM
United States
SJO
United States
DEN
Canada
MTL
United States
ROA
Australia
SRF
Mexico
MXC
24th 7
  • ^ New points system implemented in 2004

IndyCar[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Rank Points
2000 Chip Ganassi Racing United States
WDW
United States
PHX
United States
LVS
United States
INDY
7
United States
TXS
United States
PPIR
United States
ATL
United States
KTY
United States
TX2
32nd 26
2001 Chip Ganassi Racing United States
PHX
United States
HMS
United States
ATL
United States
INDY
4
United States
TXS
United States
PPIR
United States
RIR
United States
KAN
United States
NSH
United States
KTY
United States
STL
United States
CHI
United States
TX2
36th 32
2002 Team Rahal United States
HMS
United States
PHX
United States
FON
9
United States
NZR
United States
INDY
30
United States
TXS
United States
PPIR
United States
RIR
United States
KAN
United States
NSH
United States
MIS
United States
KTY
United States
STL
United States
CHI
United States
TX2
40th 23
2003 Team Rahal United States
HMS
United States
PHX
Japan
MOT
United States
INDY
26
United States
TXS
United States
PPIR
United States
RIR
United States
KAN
United States
NSH
United States
MIS
United States
STL
United States
KTY
United States
NZR
United States
CHI
United States
FON
United States
TX2
36th 4
2008 KV Racing Technology United States
HMS
United States
STP
Japan
MOT1
DNP
United States
LBH1
10
United States
KAN
United States
INDY
United States
MIL
United States
TXS
United States
IOW
United States
RIR
United States
WGL
United States
NSH
United States
MDO
Canada
EDM
United States
KTY
United States
SNM
United States
DET
United States
CHI
Australia
SRF2
NC
1 Run on same day.
2 Non-points-paying, exhibition race.

Indianapolis 500 results[edit]

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Reason out Team
1992 Lola Chevrolet 28th 21st Crash Hayhoe
1993 Lola Ford-Cosworth 19th 13th Running Hayhoe
1994 Reynard Ford-Cosworth 16th 4th Running Hayhoe
1995 Reynard Ford-Cosworth 9th 22nd Crash Ganassi
2000 G-Force Oldsmobile 7th 7th Running Ganassi
2001 G-Force Oldsmobile 12th 4th Running Ganassi
2002 Dallara Chevrolet 19th 30th Gearbox Rahal
2003 Dallara Honda 27th 26th Gearbox Rahal

Notes[edit]

Winner of fastest Champ Car race: Fontana 2002, Average Speed: 197.995 mph (318.642 km/h)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Vasser might be taking his last laps". Las Vegas Sun. 2005-09-23. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  2. ^ "Vasser headlines seven Indianapolis 500 rookies". Boca Raton News. Associated Press. 1992-05-20. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  3. ^ Harris, Mike (1996-09-09). "Zanardi wins race, but Vasser takes title". The Modesto Bee. Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-01-23. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Ganassi changes drivers". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-01-23. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Vasser ends drought on streets of Houston". ESPN. Associated Press. 2000-10-02. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  6. ^ Graves, Gary (2004-08-26). "Champ Car's Vasser revved up to break record". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  7. ^ Lawley, Erin (2008-04-17). "Vasser getting behind wheel at LBC". Napa Valley Register. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  8. ^ "Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser join Robby Gordon's Stadium SUPER Trucks series for Toronto". Racer. 2013-07-11. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  9. ^ Taylor, Michael (2007-01-07). "A Fascination For Fine Machines". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jacques Villeneuve
CART Series
Champion

1996
Succeeded by
Alex Zanardi