• UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM:

Monday, October 02, 2006

NEWS UPDATE: Pettit Is 4th Champ Car Partner

The answer is Dan Pettit.

The question came up during last week's Phoenix City Council session. I attended the meeting, during which approval was given for final contract negotiations for a downtown Champ Car street race on Dec. 2, 2007. Champ Car President Steve Johnson, in responding to a Councilman's question about the financial stability of the organization, said the company is owned by "four people, two of whom are billionaires." This was news to me because all public statements I know of, and the series media guide, say the owners are Kevin Kalkhoven, Gerald Forsythe and Paul Gentilozzi. I wanted to ask Johnson the identity of the mystery fourth owner, but he quickly left after the meeting, so I E-mailed CC PR director Steve Shunck.

I got the word today. Pettit (right) is the man. Pettit, along with Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser, is owner of the PKV team. The 2006 Champ Car media guide describes Pettit as "Kalkhoven's long-time business partner and proven venture capitalist." According to the guide, Pettit worked at Uniphase Corp. (later JDS Uniphase) and served as its chief financial officer until 1998 and later as president of European Operations until his retirement in August 2000. Of course, Kalkhoven was president, CEO and chairman of Uniphase. Pettit has an MBA from Pepperdine University in California and a BA in Business from Winona State University in Minnesota.