Compiled by SEMA Editors
Daytona Appoints Frank Kelleher Track President
Daytona International Speedway (DIS) has appointed Frank Kelleher, an experienced industry veteran, president of the historic racing facility. Concurrently, NASCAR has announced that Chip Wile, former DIS president, has been promoted to a new expansive role overseeing 13 NASCAR-owned tracks as senior vice president and chief track properties officer.
In his previous role as NASCAR‘s senior vice president and chief sales officer, Kelleher oversaw a team responsible for business strategy and revenue generation, which played a critical role in driving both media and partnership sales for NASCAR and its tracks. Kelleher also helped secure the founding sponsorships to Daytona International Speedway’s highly visible injectors.
Both Kelleher and Wile will assume their new roles effective immediately. Daytona International Speedway’s next scheduled major motorsports weekend is a NASCAR doubleheader August 27–28, featuring the Coke Zero Sugar 400 and the Wawa 250 Powered by Coca-Cola.
The Mint 400 Announces Official “Military Vehicle” Class
Officials with The Mint 400 have announced an all-new military vehicle class for the 2021 event set for December 1–5, in Las Vegas. The class will allow manufacturers and owners of historic and modern military vehicles to compete and showcase their vehicle platforms in front of tens of thousands of off-road race fans and enthusiasts in-person and via the Mint 400 LiveStream. The new class comes as Mint 400 owners Matt and Josh Martelli and the Mint 400 Event Director Kilian Hamlin plan the second annual Mint 400 Military Challenge, which raised over $100,000 in financial support for veterans and active-duty military in its first year. Last year, several military vehicles took part in the Military Challenge as part of the 2020 Mint 400. This included the Green Berets with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), who raced the General Dynamics Ground Mobility Vehicle 1.1s, and the Warfighter Made organization who entered its Flyer 22 Vintage Military Light Strike Vehicle (LSV) manufactured by Flyer Defense and a 1988 AM General M998 High Mobility Multi Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) aka Humvee. Companies looking to get involved in the new Mint 400 Military Class should contact Mint 400 CEO Matt Martelli. More information on the new class will be released in the coming months.
Bondurant Racing School to Relaunch at New Location
Race car champion Bob Bondurant has announced the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving will relaunch in a new location. The school is working with and soliciting qualified partners to negotiate the new location for the business, which was previously headquartered at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona. The facility is now the site of Radford Racing School, which had purchased the Bondurant school assets in 2019.
Greg Walter Named Promoter of the Year for 2020
Speedway Motorsports officials have honored Charlotte Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Greg Walter as the Promoter of the Year and named Executive Vice President and Chief Sales Officer Kevin Camper as the O. Bruton Smith Award recipient for 2020. Walter, a 20-year leader within Speedway Motorsports, was recognized for Charlotte Motor Speedway’s efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. The facility used its substantial logistical expertise to provide safe, socially distanced events ranging from drive-through high-school graduations and Halloween events to drive-in concerts and movie nights. Walter’s team was also pivotal in planning and executing North Carolina’s first mass COVID-19 vaccination event and was just the second track on the NASCAR’s return to racing schedule with the Bank of America ROVAL 400 last fall.
Annually presented to one employee across all of Speedway Motorsports and its subsidiaries, the recipient of the O. Bruton Smit Award is someone who exhibits the traits of the Speedway Motorsports Executive Chairman and Founder O. Bruton Smith. Those traits include character, enthusiasm, drive, a heart for helping others, respect and appreciation for team members, vision and determination.
Scott Tapley Named Thunder Road Race Director
Thunder Road officials have appointed Scott Tapley as race director for the 2021 season. The longtime motorsports official will oversee all of the Barre, Vermont-based track’s local racing divisions, along with the 19-event schedule. Tapley is also the race director at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, and New York’s Riverhead Raceway. Thunder Road opens its 2021 season on Sunday, May 2, for the 23rd Community Bank N.A. 150 featuring the ACT Late Model Tour, Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models and more.
Capital City Motorsports Park Signs on as NHRA Member Track
The NHRA has announced that Capital City Motorsports Park has signed on as the newest NHRA-member track in the NHRA Southeast Division. Located in Montgomery, Alabama, Capital City Motorsports Park is overseen by owner Ben Willis. Capital City Motorsports Park is gearing up for its 2021 schedule, which will include the Free Entry 10K event in August and the Mike Smith Memorial Race as well as the Jr. Dragster Halloween Spectacular in October. Capital City Motorsports Park joins a group of more than 120 NHRA-member tracks worldwide. As an NHRA-sanctioned track, the facility will be eligible to offer racers a variety of NHRA racing opportunities, including the NHRA Summit Racing Series, the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League and NHRA Jr. Street.
For more racing news, visit Performance Racing Industry’s (PRI) website.