Tyler Tadevic is losing his house but not his drive.
A lifelong motorsports fanatic, he went from cleaning wheels and sweeping up a shop to building and managing his own racing team, Oxnard-based Pacific Coast Motorsports.
In just a few short years, it came within fractions of a second of racing in the Indianapolis 500, the pinnacle of open-wheel racing. Tadevic rose from worshiping names such as Andretti and Penske to sitting in owners’ meetings with them in Indianapolis.
But a huge change in the open-wheel racing industry and crashes on the Brickyard and in the stock markets brought it all to an end.
In mid-May, Pacific Coast Motorsports filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, listing $710,000 in assets and more than $4.1 million in liabilities. Because Tadevic mortgaged his house and bought out a former partner in a last-ditch effort to keep the team alive, the bankruptcy is in his name.
“I’ve lost my home, my business, all my employees," Tadevic told the Business Times. “It has dimmed my entrepreneurial spirit, but it has not squashed it."
Pacific Coast Motorsports had about 25 employees when it quit doing business earlier this year. They worked long, hard hours with no pay in the team’s final push, and Tadevic said he intends to compensate them.
“These guys bled for me, both literally and figuratively. They could have walked away any time," Tadevic said.
For now, Tadevic has taken a job at a company in his home state of Oregon that makes racing fuel cells. He said he plans to work, repay his debts and return to racing. Pacific Coast Motorsports was the only IndyCar team on the West Coast.
“We were really proud to represent California in open-wheel racing," Tadevic said. “I just picked the worst possible time in economic history to try to make a go of it." More at Pacific Coast Business Journal