Former Constellation exec may be Baltimore Grand Prix’s top CEO pick

Baltimore Racing Development LLC is considering a former executive of Constellation Energy Group Inc. to become its new CEO, according to a top official from the IndyCar Series.

Terry Angstadt, president of IndyCar’s commercial division, said the organizer of the Baltimore Grand Prix is in talks with Felix J. Dawson to replace Jay Davidson as its chief executive. Davidson stepped down as Baltimore Racing Development’s CEO after the inaugural event ran in September.

Pete Collier, Baltimore Racing Development's COO, wouldn't deny that organizers were in discussions with Dawson.

"We’re in the interview process, looking for the best candidate," Collier said.

Dawson, 43, is a founding partner of Baltimore-based energy investment firm Wilkes Lane Capital LLC.

Prior to forming Wilkes Lane in 2009, Dawson held various executive-level positions at Baltimore’s Constellation Energy Group, the city’s only Fortune 500 company. For a time, Dawson was CEO of Constellation Energy Commodities Group.

Dawson could not be reached for comment.

If hired, Dawson would take on the leadership role at Baltimore Racing Development amid troubling times for the group.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s administration said Monday it would terminate its five-year contract with Baltimore Racing Development if more than $1.5 million in missed payments are not made to the city and state by Dec. 31.

The announcement from the city followed news that the Grand Prix was late on making multiple payments to vendors following the inaugural event on Sept. 2-4.

All together, Baltimore Racing Development owes the city more than $1.5 million, the Maryland Stadium Authority and is facing a handful of lawsuits from unpaid vendors and lenders alleging the company owes them more than $1.5 million, too.

Both Davidson and Pete Collier, Baltimore Racing Development’s chief operating officer, said organizers are working with an unspecified amount of unpaid vendors, trying to work out payment plans and settle disputes out of court. Collier said the group is meeting with consultants and others to refinance and restructure in order to pay off its other debts.

Angstadt said IndyCar remains “pretty confident" the Baltimore Grand Prix’s organizers will be able to stage the event a second time in 2012.

“They were the first to identify what their issues were, and we agreed with them," Angstadt said. “What we’re being told sounds pretty promising."

He said from everything he’s heard, Dawson is the right man for the job.

“They identified they needed a single point of decision making," Angstadt said. “I’ve heard nothing but great comments about [Dawson]." Baltimore Biz Journal

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