Alex Barron’s tenure with Red Bull Cheever Racing in 2004 will mark one of his longest runs with a single race team and will end his well-known status as the best replacement driver in the business.
Barron, the 33-year-old veteran of IRL IndyCar Series and CART racing, brings a full resume that includes top teams, major wins and series championships. Barron’s hiring was a coup for Red Bull Cheever Racing.
“I’m really glad to have a full time ride with Red Bull Cheever Racing,” Barron said. “I can’t say enough for all the hard work they’ve put in last year and during the off season. They’ve shown me how dedicated they are to producing a winning team and I’m excited to be a part of that.”
During the 2003 season, Barron on three occasions replaced injured drivers, racing for Marlboro Team Penske’s Gil de Ferran as he recovered before winning the Indianapolis 500, replacing Arie Luyendyk for the Indy 500, and replacing Felipe Giaffone for Mo Nunn Racing where he brought their team to victory at the Michigan Indy 400.
It was then, with three races remaining in the season, that Red Bull Cheever Racing owner Eddie Cheever Jr. hired Barron to drive the No. 52 car. Barron showed improvements for the team and earned their best finish of the season (seventh) at Chicagoland Speedway.
“I feel like we’ve hired the right driver to lead this team in 2004,” said Max Jones, managing director of Red Bull Cheever Racing. “He’s a young veteran, he’s won races and championships, and he’s in a position where he can serve as a mentor to Ed Carpenter.”
Barron’s career began in karts at the age of nine. He raced in Formula 2000 in 1996 before clinching the 1997 Toyota Atlantic championship in his rookie season. The following year, he piloted into the CART Champ Car Series, where he raced for several teams, including Penske, before joining the IRL in 2002.
“It’s nice to be in a position where I can gain continuity with one great team,” Barron said. “I finally have the opportunity I’ve been working so hard for. Trust me, the wheels will be turning.”