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Local NASCAR team owner follows road to success

La Grange native Anthony Marlowe a minority owner in Swan Racing, which has two entries in Daytona 500

Published: Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 8:00 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:32 a.m. CDT
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(Photo provided)
Anthony Marlowe stands next to a stock racing car his company, TMone, sponsored at the 12th annual Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet in 2012. Before becoming a part owner with Swan Racing, the La Grange native Anthony Marlowe got his start in racing by sponsoring cars.
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Anthony Marlowe
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(Photo provided)
La Grange native Anthony Marlowe recently became a minority owner in Swan Racing, which will have Parker Kligerman's No. 30 car and Cole Whitt's No. 26 car racing in the Daytona 500 on Sunday.

Anthony Marlowe’s love of cars and racing was born on Archer Avenue, the famous street that cuts a swath through Chicago’s southside and the city’s southwest suburbs.

“I’ve been a lifelong racing fan since back in the day running cars up and down Archer Avenue,” Marlowe said. “I’ve always had an affinity for it.”

Now a successful businessman, Marlowe was able to turn his love into a reality as he became a minority owner with Swan Racing in January. Swan Racing, which is based in Statesville, N.C., has two cars that compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, No. 26 Cole Whitt and No. 30 Parker Kligerman.

As the NASCAR season starts Sunday with the Daytona 500, Marlowe will be one of hundreds of thousands of people in attendance as he watches Whitt and Kligerman compete in the race, but for him, it will be all business, which coincidentally is how he became a NASCAR owner.

After graduating from Lyons Township High School, Marlowe moved to Iowa City, Iowa, to go to college before he quickly realized it wasn’t for him.

“I didn’t last very long,” he said. “I started working for a company called MCI, and they asked me to run their sales team in Arlington, Va. so I did that for a few years. How many 19-year olds get to be a manager and get that kind of experience.”

MCI brought Marlowe back to Iowa City in 2001. Two years later, he co-founded TMone, a domestic business process outsourcing firm that has since spread to four locations, employs more than 1,000 people and has been named one of Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing private companies seven years in a row.

He became a NASCAR team sponsor in 2011 before selling TMone last year. He is still president of the company.

His business success has allowed him to achieve the dream many sports fans harbor.

“I always thought one day I’d like to be part of [owning a team],” Marlowe said. “What guy doesn’t dream of owning a sports team?”

With more than 30 races left after the Daytona 500, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Season extends into November, though Marlowe said he will attend about one-third of the races this season.

Some sports owners interject themselves into every minute detail of the day-to-day operations of the team, but Marlowe didn’t get to be a successful businessman by not knowing his own strengths and weaknesses. He knows enough to stand back and let each person involved in Swan Racing do their job.

“This is my first foray into pro sports, aside from being a sponsor. All my experience is as a CEO and entrepreneur in the business world,” Marlow said. “I don’t envision myself getting involved much in the competitive side of things right now. I’ll leave those decisions to others.

“Bray Pemberton [general manager] is a talented young leader. He has the keys and we rely on him. [Primary Owner and CEO] Brandon Davis has already got us in a good spot.”

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