DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — NASCAR promoted Steve Phelps to president on Thursday in the latest leadership change for the slumping motorsports series.
Phelps will replace Brent Dewar on Oct. 1. Dewar is stepping down and transitioning to an advisory role next year.
“As a life-long fan of NASCAR, the opportunity to provide league-wide leadership is something I am looking forward to,” Phelps said. “I am confident that the strong team of leaders here at NASCAR and across the industry will accelerate the necessary changes to grow the sport and engage our passionate fans.”
Phelps will oversee all competition and business operations and report to Chairman and CEO Jim France, who replaced his nephew in August following Brian France’s arrest for driving under the influence. The France family owns both NASCAR and International Speedway Corp., which owns many of the tracks used by NASCAR.
Phelps has been a NASCAR executive since 2005 and negotiated partnership agreements with Coca-Cola, Monster Energy, Comcast and Camping World. He was also part of NASCAR’s acquisition of digital and social rights and many marketing platforms. He replaces Dewar as NASCAR tries to steady itself during a prolonged downturn. Attendance and television ratings have dropped, and teams are struggling to find high-dollar sponsorship.
NASCAR’s playoffs continue Saturday night in Richmond, Virginia. Brad Keselowski has won three consecutive races to ignite excitement as NASCAR hits its final stretch of the year.
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