October 18, 2018 Austin, Texas

Today CJ Wilson announced a change of location and focus which will see his racing operation move to Fresno, California. The two-time MLB All-Star will now run CJ Wilson Racing from his automotive retail HQ in Northern California. The Austin-based operation will retain its key staff, re-launch under new ownership as Gradient Racing, and will continue to run its Acura NSX GT3 while evaluating additional programs at the GT4 and TCR level.


“In less than a decade, CJ Wilson Racing has grown from a single-car MX-5 team to a Sebring 12 Hour entrant and that has been very exciting,” explained CJ Wilson. “However, with my retirement from baseball and my desire to race myself, Andris [Laivins] and I agreed that I should focus the operations out of Fresno so I can have a closer alignment with my retail franchise brands and my personal goals as a competitor.”

“We have won multiple championships at different levels and every year we have competed for podiums, wins, and Championships in whichever category we have raced. A lot of that has to do with the three people who have been here throughout this period of success: Andris Laivins, Marc Miller, and Declan Brennan along with the entire crew in Austin.”


Wilson recognizes that although there is now a divergence of business goals, neither team is ruling out a joint effort in the future. “My racing programs have to reflect my automotive retail interests and Andris’ new organization will have significantly less restraints from that perspective. With that said, I have no doubt we will work together again at some point down the road.”


“Together, CJ and I have had great time tackling the challenges of building a proper race program. The team has grown from Mazda MX-5 Cup to a credible GT competitor, and that's something we are all extremely proud of,” explained Andris Laivins.  “We reached a stage where we needed separate strategies, allowing the CJ Wilson Racing brand to be more tightly integrated in CJ's dealer structure in California, and allowing my new program with Gradient to double down on our racing and customer activities.”

Wilson expects to announce more details of his and his team’s 2019 programs in the coming weeks.

Declan Brennan