The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Auto Racing

May 5, 2013

Business brings racing to Alexandria

Salmon-Simpson Racing operates in former Glove Corp. building

ALEXANDRIA, Ind. —  Rev your engines, Alexandria.

Hidden within the quiet town of roughly 5,000, there’s a little bit of a high-octane, heart-pounding sport with millions of fans worldwide.

Salmon-Simpson Racing, the brain child of owner Jon Salmon and CEO and driver Stephen Simpson, opened about a year ago in downtown Alexandria, at 301 N. Harrison St. in the old Glove Corp. building.

Salmon said he dreamed of the glamorous racing lifestyle as a kid but was only inspired to act on it after meeting the young — yet winning — driver, Simpson, on an Indy racing circuit.

“It was his drive and passion for the sport that inspired me to want to be involved with helping Stephen Simpson live his dream to race full time for a living,” said Salmon, who runs the business side of Salmon-Simpson. “That drive and motivation is what sparked a fire for me to get in the racing business.”

It was serendipity, much like the story behind Salmon-Simpson’s rooting in Alexandria — especially considering neither partner is a native.

Simpson was born in England and raised in South Africa, where he took up karting as a kid. By his teens, he’d moved on to bigger, more powerful cars, eventually becoming the youngest driver to ever win the South African Ford Championship. To date, he’s racked up more than 75 awards via his history with Formula Ford, LeMans, IndyLights and other circuits.

The team’s link to small-town Madison County is through Salmon’s wife, Angie.

She was raised in Alexandria, taught at Alexandria-Monroe High School for a decade and helps run her mom’s downtown fashion boutique, Bella Ava, out of the same building as Salmon-Simpson.

“I knew this was the right place when I looked at the building last May,” Salmon said. “It was a perfect fit.” Especially since the office is in a building with “racing history oozing out of it,” he said. Among other things, he says, Glove Corp. made flame-retardant racing gear.  

Despite not growing up in Alexandria, Salmon said he feels like he’s a part of the town.

“After the brief year Salmon-Simpson has operated out of Alexandria, many of the people are very welcoming and supportive,” he said.

And he hopes Salmon-Simpson can return the favor.  

The Alexandria office handles the business’s day-to-day operations, such as phone calls and sponsorship. But the town travels with Simpson, as he tours on his racing circuits.

“Our goal is to showcase Alexandria (and) Madison County,” Salmon said, “to generate more jobs to larger companies through our goodwill of putting Alex on the fire suit,” the flame-retardant jumper that drivers wear.

So far, Salmon-Simpson has two sponsors but is recruiting and hopes to have several from Madison County. That could mean national and global business connections and plenty of advertising opportunities for local companies.

“I would have to say there is never a down time in the racing industry,”Salmon said. “When the last checker flag has dropped, that only means a great exciting new year is right around the corner.”

Like Baylee Pulliam on Facebook and on Twitter

@BayleeNPulliam, or call 648-4250.

1
Text Only
Auto Racing
  • ken de la Bastide mug Ken de la Bastide: Allmendinger makes Chase field

    Lost in the media furor surrounding Tony Stewart last weekend was the fact that A.J. Almendinger qualified for the Sprint Cup chase for the championship.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Speedway announces changes to races Anderson Speedway officials have announced changes to the racing programs on Oct. 4 and 11, along with the addition of an event on Oct. 25.

    August 19, 2014

  • Pierce dominates winged sprint action Daleville’s Aaron Pierce used a fast race car and lots of patience late in the race to win the winged sprint car feature at Anderson Speedway on Saturday.

    August 17, 2014

  • Winged sprint cars return to Anderson Speedway Anderson Speedway returns to racing action Saturday with the second appearance from the Must See Racing Xtreme Sprint Series. The NASH FM ThunderCars and Front Wheel Drives Oval divisions will also be part of the racing program.

    August 15, 2014

  • Ken de la Bastide: Tragedy should lead to changes Since I learned last weekend of the tragic accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr. at a race track in upstate New York, I’ve been thinking of the impact it would have on auto racing.

    August 13, 2014

  • 1115 Stewart.jpg NASCAR's Tony Stewart hits, kills driver on NY track

    NASCAR driver Tony Stewart struck and killed a sprint car driver who had climbed from his car and was on the track trying to confront Stewart during a race in upstate New York on Saturday night.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0811 - Speedway art Tunny claims National Crown Ben Tunny is no stranger to winning at Anderson Speedway, adding the 65th running of the National Crown to his resume Saturday.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ken de la Bastide: National Crown in spotlight This Saturday marks the 65th running of the National Crown, acknowledged as the longest continuous stock car race in America. The Southern 500 at Darlington Speedway also started in 1950, but that race came to an end in 2004.

    August 6, 2014

  • Burge inherits Street Stock victory Dustin Burge inherited the lead with 15 laps remaining and went on to win his first Champion Racing Association Street Stock feature of the year.

    August 3, 2014

  • SPL - PT072314 - PT Ken de la Bastide column - column sig Ken de la Bastide: Good racing across the board

    This past weekend I got to witness four pretty good races at three different venues in central Indiana, none of them disappointed.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

Latest Racing News