IRL: Team Menard and Engineer Thomas Knapp to part company

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 2, 2000) - Effective immediately, Thomas Knapp has resigned his position as Engineer/Team Manager with Team Menard, winner of the 1999 Indy Racing Northern Light Series championship. "John Menard and I met this ...

IRL: Team Menard and Engineer Thomas Knapp to part company

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 2, 2000) - Effective immediately, Thomas Knapp has resigned his position as Engineer/Team Manager with Team Menard, winner of the 1999 Indy Racing Northern Light Series championship.

"John Menard and I met this morning," said Knapp, "and we both agreed that this is the appropriate time for us to part company. I must stress that this decision was made cooperatively and, ultimately, with the best interests of all parties in mind."

Menard agreed saying, "Tom and I have had a great run. Winning the series championship last year proved that Team Menard has come into its own as a force within the IRNLS. But given how this year's championship has played out, there was really no sense in us not moving forward and beginning to make plans for the future. For a variety of reasons, we concluded that the needs of both of us were better suited by us going our separate ways."

While Knapp's resignation comes on the heels of Team Menard pilot Greg Ray's win at the IRNLS' most recent event at Atlanta Motor Speedway in July, he feels that due to the team's standing in the championship, this is the appropriate time to look to the future.

Knapp explained, "We certainly could have, and probably should have, won events earlier in the season. But at this point we stand 11th in overall championship points and have been mathematically eliminated from the opportunity to duplicate our 1999 championship. Given these circumstances, it seemed only prudent that Menard and I begin our preparations for the future sooner rather than later."

Knapp joined Team Menard in October of 1998, after two successful seasons of competition in the Indy Racing League under the banner of Thomas Knapp Motorsports. His motorsports experience stretches across some 20 years and a variety of endeavors including the Formula Atlantic, Indy Lights, Sports 2000 and Formula Ford 2000.

Team Menard plans no other immediate changes to their lineup and will next appear at the inaugural Kentucky Motor Speedway IRNLS event on August 27, 2000.

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