NASCAR announced Tuesday that it has appointed Brandon Thompson to the newly created position of Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion. He will lead the sanctioning body’s strategy for diversity and inclusion, as well as programs and initiatives designed to enhance diversity across the NASCAR industry.
Thompson previously was Managing Director of the NASCAR Touring Series. In his new role, he will report to Jill Gregory, executive vice president and chief marketing and content officer for NASCAR.
“Brandon is an established and well-respected leader in our sport who will help NASCAR realize its vision in creating a more diverse industry,” Gregory said in a statement. “This new position and Brandon’s appointment reinforces our steadfast commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for our fans, industry and employees.”
According to NASCAR, Thompson will oversee an existing team of NASCAR employees responsible for multicultural programs and initiatives including the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program, as well as strategic alliances with the Institute for Sport and Social Justice and the Diversity and Inclusion Sports Consortium.
The team includes Dawn Harris, who has been promoted to Managing Director, Diversity and Inclusion.
“NASCAR has made significant progress in the areas of diversity and inclusion and we now have an opportunity to build on our momentum – both as a company and industry,” Thompson said in a statement. “It is with great passion and energy that we will champion our sport as accepting and welcoming of all individuals interested in being part of the NASCAR family.”
Thompson began his motorsports career in 2003 as an intern at Nashville Superspeedway, a role he applied for through the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program.
NASCAR announced Friday morning it had closed on its merger with International Speedway Corp.
Jim France will serve as the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. Lesa France Kennedy will be the executive vice chair. Steve Phelps has been appointed president and will oversee all operations of the company.
“The merger of NASCAR and ISC represents a historic moment for our sport,” France said in a statement. “There is much work ahead of us, but we’re pleased with the progress made to position our sport for success. Delivering for our race fans and partners is job number one, and we look forward to doing that better than ever for years to come.”
As part of the new organization, the Board of Directors will consist of France, France Kennedy, Mike Helton and Gary Crotty, chief legal officer Phelps’ direct reports will include Ed Bennett, executive vice president & chief administrative officer; Jill Gregory, executive vice president & chief marketing and content officer; Craig Neeb, executive vice president & chief innovation officer; Steve O’Donnell, executive vice president & chief racing development officer; and Daryl Wolfe, executive vice president & chief operations and sales officer.
Helton and John Saunders will serve as senior advisors under the new leadership structure.
“With great racing across all of our series, an exciting 2020 schedule on tap, and the Next Gen race car in development, we are better positioned than ever before to lead the sport into a new era of growth,” said Phelps in a statement. “We have a strong, experienced leadership team in place with incredibly dedicated employees at every level throughout our organization. Our best days are ahead of us and our new organization is going to allow us to better deliver great racing to our fans everywhere.”