IndyCar 'very excited' for Dillon group to take over Baltimore Grand Prix
Dale Dillon is viewed as the man who saved the Baltimore Grand Prix last year.
|Daniel Reck, left, Dale Dillon, center, and Felix Dawson head Downforce|
And now he’s charged with ensuring its survival for the next five years.
Hardly a well-kept secret, Dillon was named on Wednesday to lead a new group taking over the troubled Labor Day weekend Grand Prix. He was considered to be this company ’s choice to run the race well before the city announced the deal early Wednesday.
Several folks involved with IndyCar racing interviewed by the Baltimore Business Journal had good things to say about Dillon and his Downforce Racing group. His past racing experience and good IndyCar connections are what convinced city officials Dillon, along with Felix Dawson and Dan Reck of Wilkes Lane Capital, should take over the Grand Prix.
The inaugural event had been in limbo after the city ended a deal with Baltimore Racing Development. Baltimore Racing still owes millions to vendors, the city and state after losing control of its finances in last year’s race.
Sarah Davis, IndyCar’s senior director of business affairs, said Dillon was one of the key reasons the Baltimore Grand Prix was able to run at all last year.
“He was basically pulling the proverbial rabbit out of the hat last year,” Davis said. “We’re very excited [for Dillon to take over the race] given his knowledge base of the Baltimore area.”
Peter Collier, former chief operating officer for Baltimore Racing Development, said the entire organizing staff responded to Dillon’s energy and his straight forward approach.
“The thing that Dale did was he was honest,” Collier said. “You may not like what he’s going to say, but he’s not [fooling] you.”
Dillon said in a statement Wednesday morning that Downforce Racing will focus on fiscal responsibility.
“With prudent business management, this event will be successful for the city and state, and we look forward to working with the people of Baltimore to host a great sporting event,” Dillon said in a statement.
The contract still needs approval from the city’s Board of Estimates. Baltimore Business Journal