It is one of the most successful entities in American motorsports, yet it operates on one of the sport’s most unique business models.
Last year alone, Curb Agajanian Performance Group was part of the winning team at the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 and it captured championships in the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series, USAC National Midget Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
It was involved as either an entrant or a sponsor with nearly a dozen race teams in 2016, ranging from the No. 98 Toyota truck driven by Rico Abreu in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to the USAC sprint car wheeled by Dave Darland, to the prototype sports cars fielded by Michael Shank Racing.
Mike Curb and Cary Agajanian own and operate Curb Agajanian Performance Group.
Curb is a former musician and politician and the owner of Curb Records. He developed a passion for racing at a young age while attending short-track events with a neighbor and reading about the sport weekly in the pages of National Speed Sport News.
Agajanian is the oldest son of legendary team owner and promoter J.C. Agajanian. He has been involved in many facets of the sport through the years and, as an attorney, is widely recognized as an expert on the legal aspects of racing.
“During the early 1980s, Mike, my dad and I became close,” Agajanian recalled about how the partnership began. “My dad was still either owning or sponsoring cars at Indianapolis, and Mike wanted to get involved. At that time, they just did an informal arrangement and I don’t remember what year it was.
“The first team they actually put something together with was Rattlesnake Racing. Even though my dad’s health was not good during that period, he was still getting to the races. He did a deal with Grant King who would put deals together and my dad would be his partner.
“Right before my dad passed away in 1984, Mike, my dad and I met and talked,” Agajanian continued. “My dad looked at Mike and I and he said, ‘I’d love for you guys to keep this going.’ That pledge really started it. So after he passed away in ’84, Mike and I formed Curb Agajanian Performance Group, the same company that is operating today, both as a sponsorship and an ownership company.”
“Years went by and we were car owners, building cars in our shop in Kannapolis, N.C.,” Curb explained. “It was hard to find the time and it was very hard to compete with Rick Hendrick and Joe Gibbs, all of those incredible people, Richard Childress.”
Then, about 10 years ago, Curb bumped into longtime friend and NASCAR boss Bill France in a suite at the Indianapolis 500.