Many of the faces of those leading America’s top racing series have changed in recent years.
With the start of a new season upon us, we at SPEED SPORT believed it was time to get better acquainted with the sport’s head honchos.
JOHN DOONAN — IMSA President
John Doonan officially became president of the International Motor Sports Ass’n on Jan. 1, replacing Scott Atherton who retired.
Doonan was previously the director of motorsports for Mazda North America Operations where he developed the overall strategy and managed Mazda’s motorsports programs in North America.
Doonan joined Mazda in 2003 as the regional advertising manager in the Midwest region and was promoted to the director of motorsports position in 2011.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime and dream opportunity after attending IMSA races since I was a young boy,” Doonan said. “I am very humbled and truly honored to have the opportunity to join the IMSA team and I’m really looking forward to making a positive impact for our sport, our partners and our industry.”
STEVE PHELPS — NASCAR President
Steve Phelps was promoted to president in September 2018, becoming the fifth person to hold the position in NASCAR history.
Phelps oversees day-to-day operations of the sanctioning body, including competition, racing operations, commercial business, marketing, communications, broadcasting, productions, content, digital and international.
Phelps joined NASCAR as vice president of corporate marketing in July 2005. He was named chief marketing officer in February 2006 and promoted to senior vice president in January 2010, executive vice president in December 2013 and COO in April 2018.
Prior to joining NASCAR, Phelps was executive vice president of sales and marketing for Wasserman Media Group. In 1990, Phelps began a 14-year tenure at the National Football League where he served as vice president, corporate marketing.
JAY FRYE — IndyCar President
Jay Frye was named the president of IndyCar in December 2018 after serving as the sanctioning body’s president of competition and operations for three years.
As president, Frye leads all operations, competition and technical matters, as well as marketing and communications for the NTT IndyCar Series.
Frye originally joined the company in 2013 as chief revenue officer of Hulman Motorsports and led the combined team of IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway sponsorship sales, licensing and account services.
Prior to joining Hulman & Co., Frye was the vice president and general manager for Red Bull Racing’s NASCAR team.
Frye was also chief executive officer and general manager of MB2 Motorsports from 1996-2007.
Prior to his executive role on the NASCAR team side, Frye worked at Valvoline Racing and his extensive sales and marketing experience began with a variety of roles at Anheuser-Busch Inc.
GLEN CROMWELL — NHRA President
Named the fifth president of the NHRA on Jan. 1, 2018, Glen Cromwell heads NHRA’s leadership team.
Cromwell joined NHRA in 1997 and has risen through the ranks from his first position as a division director to most recently serving as senior vice president of media and marketing. Cromwell has been a key player in leading NHRA’s marketing efforts over the past 20 years. In his role as president, he is responsible for advancing the NHRA to pursue continued growth, success and exposure.
Cromwell has also served as director of national event marketing for NHRA and Division 7 director in NHRA’s National Field Office.
Prior to joining NHRA in 1997, Cromwell served in a variety of capacities with Lombard, Ill.-based Feld Motorsports, producer of AMA Supercross and Monster Truck events.
MICHAEL COBB — SCCA President
Michael Cobb became president and chief executive officer of the Sports Car Club of America in 2017.
Cobb is an SCCA member with more than 25 years of diverse experience transforming brands, companies and cultures.
He was tasked with structuring, building, managing and leading effective staff and operational efforts while functioning as a leader and the “face of the SCCA.”
Cobb established his competition career at an early age by winning a Texas Soap Box Derby event and competed in the Nationals in Akron, Ohio.
In 2007, he began participating in SCCA autocross with the Texas Region and claimed the Novice of the Year award in his first full season. He has also competed in the Tire Rack SCCA Solo Nationals.
KEVIN MILLER — USAC President
Former automotive executive Kevin Miller was named president of the United States Auto Club in 2007.
During his tenure with USAC, Miller has overseen the growth of the sanctioning body into non-traditional areas, including off-road racing and quarter-midget competition.
He’s also been responsible for the expansion of the NOS Energy Drink Midget Series and the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series.
USAC’s reach on social media and in the streaming video world have also expanded in recent years.
Miller spent 23 years at Chrysler, with his last role with the company as senior manager of brand strategy for performance parts and motorsports.
In 2002, Miller led an initiative to relaunch the Mopar brand, which included building strong brand ties to Tony Stewart Racing, Don Schumacher Racing and Oakley.
BRIAN CARTER — World Racing Group CEO
Brian Carter became chief financial officer for World Racing Group, which operates the NOS Energy Drink World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, Morton Buildings World of Outlaws Late Model Series and DIRTcar and sanctions more than 700 races annually, in 2005.
He was promoted to the role of chief executive officer in 2008.
Carter has overseen drastic growth in the number of events promoted by World Racing Group and the expansion of the business to include DIRTVision, the company’s streaming video service that provides live racing coverage from events around the globe.
Carter, who also races various types of dirt-track cars in his spare time, guided the public company known as Boundless Motorsports as it went private and became known as World Racing Group.
Carter previously worked as chief financial officer of Prescient Applied Intelligence Inc.
Other Motorsports Leaders
Formula One — CEO, Chase Carey
POWRi — Owner, Kenny Brown
All Star Circuit of Champions — Owner, Tony Stewart
Lucas Oil Late Models — Series Director, Rick Schwallie
MotoAmerica — President, Wayne Rainey
ASCS — Owner, Emmett Hahn
AFT — President, Michael Locke
Trans-Am — President, John Clagett
ARCA — President, Ron Drager