MATTHEWS, N.C. – Former DIRT vice president and Miller Brewing Company Senior Marketing Director Rich Rubenstein passed away March 1 after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Rubenstein was 72.
Born in Philadelphia, Rubenstein earned his Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from New Jersey’s Rider University. His intro to motorsports came in the form of an offer from a friend who worked for CRC Chemicals. The company was starting a racing program and needed someone to oversee it.
CRC became involved with sponsorship of Glenn Donnelly’s DIRT organization in the 1970s and later offered financial backing to NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Richard Childress.
Rubenstein remained with CRC for five years and also served as a vice president for DIRT for one year.
In the 1980s, iconic NASCAR promoter Humpy Wheeler recommended Rubenstein for the Senior Marketing Director position for the Miller Brewing Company’s motorsports program, where Rubenstein worked with both NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison and Bobby Hillin Jr.
Rubenstein opened the On Track Marketing agency in Harrisburg, N.C. in the early 1990s. His client list included GM Goodwrench, Kodak, Exide Battery, Virginia Is For Lovers, Ferguson Plumbing, Northeastern Supply, Press Pass trading cards, Winnebago and Team Marines.
On Track Marketing also handled drivers Dale Earnhardt Sr., Geoff Bodine, Harry Gant, Bobby Allison, Ken Schrader, Hermie Sadler, Hank Parker Jr., Jimmy Horton, Kenji Momota (NASCAR’s first Japanese driver of the modern era) and ARCA stars Frank Kimmel and Dill Whittymore.
A memorial service was held on March 8 in the Chapel at the Hebrew Cemetery in Charlotte.
Rubenstein is survived by wife of 50 years Phyllis, his mother Betty, children Michael and Rachelle and sister Cindy.
Contributions may be made in his name to the Carolinas Myeloma Research Fund through www.givecarolinas.org.