The Herald Bulletin

Overnight 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
  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: Hunter-Reay's blunder proves costly A lack of patience cost Ryan Hunter-Reay and teammate James Hinchcliffe a chance at victory last weekend in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Long Beach.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Poore gets Street Stock victory Anderson’s Josh Poore took advantage of a restart to pass early leader Dustin Burge and capture the Street Stock feature at Anderson Speedway on Saturday.

    April 12, 2014

  • Ken de la Bastide: Chase Elliott making headlines This past weekend at Texas Motor Speedway the two NASCAR races were won by some of the younger drivers in the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series.

    April 8, 2014

  • Shackleford scores WOFS win Jess Shackleford took the lead on a restart with 28 laps remaining and survived four more restarts to win the inaugural Winged Outlaw Figure-8 Series race at Anderson Speedway on Saturday.

    April 5, 2014

  • Armstrong looking to move up Shenandoah graduate Dakoda Armstrong has an opportunity this weekend to take a familiar path and move up in the NASCAR Nationwide standings.

    April 4, 2014

  • SPL - PT030514 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken ID Ken de la Bastide: Power on IndyCar hot streak In most forms of racing it is difficult to win three races in a row or four of six events, but that is the accomplishment of Will Power in the Verizon IndyCar series.

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0331 - speedway e Hacker gets late model win Noblesville teenager Chris Hacker turned in a dominating performance in capturing the season-opening Vores Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman feature at Anderson Speedway.

    March 31, 2014 5 Photos

  • NWS - HB0331 - speedway fans 3 Anderson Speedway kicks off 2104 season With sunny skies and more seasonable temperatures, Anderson Speedway officially opened for the start of the 2014 season on Sunday afternoon.

    March 30, 2014 4 Photos

  • Ken de la Bastide: Speedway kicks off 2014 season Anderson Speedway kicks off the 2014 season this Saturday with a pair of 75-lap features for the McGunegill Engine Performance Late Models and the NASH-FM Thunder Cars.

    March 25, 2014

  • Ken de la Bastide: Deal moves IndyCar to next level

    It has been an exceptional few weeks for IndyCar with the biggest news coming last week with the signing of Verizon as the title sponsor.

    March 19, 2014

Herald Bulletin Fantasy Racing League