Media executive Jim Meyer has joined Michael Shank Racing in an ownership role, that will see the Ohio-based team now become known as Meyer Shank Racing, in both IMSA and IndyCar competition.
Having brought Acura its first IMSA GT Daytona class victory with the NSX GT3 last year, the team will continue to compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with the No. 93 Acura of Justin Marks and Lawson Aschenbach, as well as the No. 86 entry of Katherine Legge, Trent Hindman and Alvaro Parente that is focused on the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup title.
Meyer Shank Racing will also contest selected Verizon IndyCar Series events with driver Jack Harvey.
Building the team by hand with little more than his know-how, hard work, drive, and expansion-generating loans, Shank started the team in 1994 to support his aspiration of racing in IndyCar as a driver, having made a start at Las Vegas in 1997 before transitioning to focus on team ownership in the Atlantic series.
After mortgaging his house to purchase an IMSA Prototype in 2004, Shank began to build his business with a move to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar ranks.
The team has been a competitive force ever since, with several victories in GTD and Prototype class competition including the 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona and 2016 Petit Le Mans. MSR also holds the track speed record at Daytona International Speedway and has competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as the Indianapolis 500.
“Since day one of this team, it has just been my wife (MaryBeth) and I running it and I hadn’t set out to take on a partner,” said Mike Shank. “But when I met Jim (Meyer), it was clear how a structure like this could help the team grow in the long term, so it began to make more and more sense.
“Having a strong financial foundation to build the organization and bringing in a top-level CEO with the kind of commercial background that Jim has is going to help us grow our depth.
“This is big for everyone on this team, and we’re really motivated to go out and be successful with the tools that we have moving forward.”
While Meyer and Shank have different professional backgrounds, both team owners have demonstrated a long-running dedication to success.
Meyer held a number of senior management positions in consumer electronics before becoming SiriusXM’s President of Sales and Operations in May 2004 until he was named CEO in 2013, a position he still holds.
MSR made its IndyCar debut with driver Jack Harvey piloting the AutoNation and SiriusXM-sponsored entry in the 2017 Indianapolis 500, giving Meyer the opportunity to see first hand what kind of team Shank had developed.
“I have been thinking about a way to be involved in the sport for a long time, but didn’t have a clear path in mind until I met Mike (Shank),” said Meyer, who has attended the Indianapolis 500 regularly for decades.
“We are very different people, but he really impressed me with what he has done to build this organization and some of the risks he took along the way. I knew early on that he was the kind of person that I wanted to partner with and I really respect what he has done.
“We share the dream of winning the Indianapolis 500 and I’m really excited to be working towards that with Mike.”