SMI announces change in New Hampshire leadership

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Speedway Motorsports, Inc., has announced that Jerry Gappens has resigned as New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s general manager. David McGrath has been named as his successor.

McGrath, 51, replaces Gappens, who had been allowed to keep the position in April after pleading guilty to a class B misdemeanor count of lewdness stemming from a Jan. 21 incident in Manchester. N.H.

Gappens had been suspended in January while the legal process played out. After fulfilling undisclosed requirements put forth by SMI, Gappens was allowed to stay in the position until his resignation.

“I’ve spent the majority of my working life promoting events for Speedway Motorsports, and it’s been an experience I’ll always treasure,” Gappens said in a release. “I truly appreciate the opportunities provided to me by the Smith family. Now that a successful 25th anniversary season is complete at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the time is right for me to move on to the next chapter in my life. The Magic Mile will no doubt continue to prosper under David’s leadership.”

Gappens’ resignation and McGrath’s appointment ends a 23-year career for the former at SMI.

McGrath first joined NHMS in 2011 as the track’s director of advertising and promotions. In January 2013 he was promoted to vice president of marketing and promotions. He’s served as vice president of corporate sales since January 2014.

“During his time at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, David has shown tremendous leadership and great passion for his work,” SMI CEO Marcus Smith said in a release. “He has earned the respect of his peers across the company and has embraced opportunities to tackle new challenges. Under his direction, I am confident the future of New Hampshire Motor Speedway is in good hands.”

McGrath is a native of New England, having been born and raised in Marlborough, Mass.. After 19 years in Colorado, McGrath returned to New England in 2008.

“I am thrilled to lead and inspire this wonderful team of dedicated employees, who are as equally passionate about the success of New Hampshire Motor Speedway as I am,” said McGrath in the release. “I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and go to work in this new capacity as we continue to move our business forward in 2016 and beyond.”