We kept coming back to Petaluma as an option because of its location in the Bay Area.
The Racer’s Group (TRG)
Petaluma has the right mix of young and old, rural and urban, historic and modern. We’re excited to tap into this vibe.
Fertile Ground for Motorsports
Who They Are & What They Do
TRG is a professional motorsports business that includes a racing team; driver development services for amateur through professional levels; sales and service of high performance street, sports, and race cars; specialized marketing programs; and private/corporate events.
By the Numbers
TRG is one of the most storied privateer (i.e., privately-funded) teams in motor sports history. It boasts more than 175 podium finishes, including seven Series championships, four victories at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and two Pirelli World Change Championships.
Entrepreneurs are often described as being “driven” or having “nerves of steel.” Those descriptors are particularly apt for Kevin Buckler, who’s built TRG not only with his business acumen, but also with his skill behind the wheel of a race car.
Buckler started TRG in 1992, in Monterey, Calif., with a small nest egg (from an early career in commercial real estate), a passion for racing sports cars, and the blessing of his numbers-crunching wife, Debra. He spent three years working through the ranks of amateur and semi-pro Porsche Club races, then had a breakthrough year in 1995, when he entered—and won—his first professional race.
Around the same time, Buckler moved his family and his business to the North Bay, setting up shop at Sonoma Raceway. Here he gained serious traction—honing his skills, racking up wins, and expanding his team. He made his mark in the racing world in 2002,when he won the Rolex 24 at Daytona, 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Porsche Cup in the same season.
By 2004, he was ready to invest in a building of his own—and he found what he was looking for in an up-and-coming industrial development off Lakeville Highway.
“We kept coming back to Petaluma as an option because of its location in the North Bay close to Marin where we live, as well as near the Raceway and other parts of Sonoma and Napa, and not too far from San Francisco,” says Buckler. “When this property came up, we jumped at the opportunity.”
Having put down roots in Petaluma, Buckler set about steering TRG along several new pathways, both literally and figuratively. Over the past decade and a half, he’s added new aspects to the business, like driver development services; inked deals with new partners, like GM and Aston Martin; and tackled new racing challenges, like fielding a team on the Indy circuit.
TRG’s headquarters has served double-duty as home base for Adobe Road Winery, which Buckler started in 2002 and has transformed into a thriving commercial venture over the years. The two businesses come together seamlessly in experiential marketing and hospitality opportunities held at the TRG location, at the winery’s tasting room in downtown Petaluma, or at raceways around the country.
“It’s been a strategic advantage to have both the motorsports and the winery operations staff in one office location as we’ve grown the winery,” explains Buckler.
In 2015, the Bucklers invested again in Petaluma commercial real estate, this time with the purchase of a riverfront property at the corner of 2nd street, between the turning basin and the historic warehouse district. The plan is to build a new 15,000 square foot winery and event center that will incorporate a production facility, tasting room, pizza kitchen, outdoor elements, and even a car museum.
“We’ve watched Petaluma really come into its own over the years we’ve been here,” says Buckler. “It’s got the right mix of young and old, rural and city, historic and modern. We’re excited to tap into this vibe for this project, and thrilled to be part of the next phase of development in this great town.”