After nearly 40 years in motor racing, Corvette Racing’s long-time Crew Chief Dan Binks has announced his retirement.
Binks has been the leader on pit row and in the garage for the ultra-successful Corvette Racing team since 2002 but has been a part of winning racing teams since the early 1980s.
“Thirty-eight years is a long time in motor racing,” he told RACER’s veteran writer Marshall Pruett. “I love my Corvette Racing family, and now it’s time to do something different.”
It sounds as if Binks won’t be slowing down much in “retirement,” though, as he turns his attention to running an automotive performance and restoration shop and supporting his long-time favorite charity, Camp Anokijig, which he attended as a youngster in southeastern Wisconsin. He was so influenced by his experiences there that he convinced Corvette Racing to hold a charity auction at Road America for the past several years, raising about half a million dollars for Anokijig.
Binks’ final race with the GM factory team Pratt & Miller came in January when the C8.R made its debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, but the jovial barrel-chested crew chief with a crew cut will long be remembered for his efforts with Corvette Racing over the past 18 years. Those achievements include becoming the first sports car team since 2000 to win endurance racing’s Triple Crown with victories at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans in the same season in 2015. The team also won five consecutive Triple Crown events – Daytona and Sebring in 2015 and 2016, and the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours – and has finished first in more than 100 races since 1999.
Binks contributed greatly to that success over the past two decades, including Corvette Racing’s 20-year streak of consecutive appearances at Le Mans that is expected to end this year with the recent announcement Corvette Racing would not be participating in the race, which was rescheduled from its traditional mid-June running to Sept. 19-20 because of the pandemic.
“I think of Dan as ‘the quiet legend,'” IMSA President John Doonan said. “To think of all the success he’s delivered for his teams over the years is really quite amazing. Roger Penske said Rick Mears did all of his talking with his right foot. I think of Dan that way in talking with a wrench, or a wheel gun, or how he’s been a leader for so long in helping to shape many teams into what they’ve ultimately become, which is champions. And he’s always done what’s in the best interest of the sport and with great integrity. He will be missed greatly by everyone in IMSA.”
Binks first made his mark in the racing world in the 1980s when he joined Tommy Kendall to dominate IMSA’s GTU category with a Mazda RX-7. The two men also enjoyed success with Ford in the 1990s in a Roush Racing Mustang on the Trans Am scene.
No word on Binks’ replacement has been released.
IMSA to Restart Revised 2020 Schedule with a Nighttime Race on July 4th at Daytona International Speedway
Corvette Racing Withdraws from the 24 Hours of Le Mans
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing Garage Discussion with Doug Fehan and Ben Johnson at Daytona