Speedway Motorsports’ leadership team manages 11 premier properties across the United States. Their experience provides marketing, promotional and operational expertise generating the best entertainment experience and marketing values in the motorsports industry.
O. Bruton Smith (1927 – 2022)
Founder of Speedway Motorsports
O. Bruton Smith had trailblazing careers in motorsports, philanthropy and automotive retail as the founder, executive chairman and patriarch of Speedway Motorsports, Sonic Automotive and Speedway Children’s Charities.
Born March 2, 1927, Smith was the youngest of nine children and grew up on a modest farm in Oakboro, North Carolina. As a member of the Greatest Generation, Smith learned the value of hard work early in life. With an inspiring determination and relentless optimism, Smith built a business empire through the automotive and motorsports industries and left a legacy to inspire generations of his family, friends and colleagues.
“My parents taught us what work was all about,” Smith said in 2008. “As I look back, that was a gift, even though I certainly didn’t think so at the time. A lot of people don’t have that gift because they didn’t grow up working. But if you are on a family farm, that’s what you do. Everything is hard work.”
Smith founded Speedway Motorsports by consolidating his motorsports holdings in December 1994, and in February 1995, he made it the first motorsports company to trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Today the company owns and operates 11 motorsports entertainment facilities: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Sonoma Raceway, Texas Motor Speedway, Dover Motor Speedway, Nashville Superspeedway, North Wilkesboro Speedway and Kentucky Speedway.
Speedway Motorsports also owns and operates subsidiaries SMI Properties, U.S. Legend Cars International, Performance Racing Network and zMAX Micro Lubricants.
In January of 1997, Smith founded Sonic Automotive and took it public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:SAH) in November of the same year. In just a few years, Smith grew Sonic into one of the nation’s largest automotive retailers. Sonic Automotive is now a Fortune 300 company with over 160 retail dealerships in over 23 states, representing 25 automotive brands.
In 2014, Smith’s passion for automotive retail continued with the creation of EchoPark Automotive. A subsidiary of Sonic Automotive, EchoPark Automotive is the company’s high growth segment rooted in providing high quality pre-owned vehicles, while delivering a world-class guest experience. The company currently operates over 40 EchoPark Automotive locations nationwide.
Smith’s first job outside the family farm came at age 12 when he went to work at a local saw mill. Two days after graduating from Oakboro High School, Smith took a job in a hosiery mill, before he eventually made a purchase that would lead him to two successful business careers.
“I bought a race car for $700. The whole idea at that time was that I was going to be a race car driver,” Smith once explained. “I learned to drive, but that career didn’t last long.” Smith’s mother had other ideas and prayed to a higher authority. “She started fighting dirty,” laughed Smith in a 2005 interview with Motorsport.com. “You can’t fight your mom and God, so I stopped driving.”
Smith sold his first car, a 1939 Buick sedan, for a small profit and continued to sell cars from his mother’s front yard. The young entrepreneur also promoted his first race before he was 18 years old.
“There was a whole lot of unrest with the drivers and car owners at that time,” Smith continued. “We had a meeting and I was unlucky enough to be appointed a committee of one to promote a race. I had never done that, but I promoted a race in Midland, North Carolina, and I made a little bit of money, so I thought I’d try it again.”
In his early 20s, Smith’s career as promoter and car salesman took a turn when he was drafted by the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Smith served two years stateside as a paratrooper, then returned to selling cars and promoting auto races featuring the burgeoning National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). Through a rough era for the sport, Smith was one of the first professional promoters to pay good purses, tend to the needs of the fans and find unique ways to promote events at speedways he leased around North Carolina.
“I'm a frustrated builder who had a knack for promoting races and it’s been fun to always try and push the sport to greater heights for the fans,” Smith told the Associated Press in 2015.
In 1959, he partnered with NASCAR driver Curtis Turner and built his first permanent motorsports facility, Charlotte Motor Speedway. The track opened in June 1960 with a 600-mile race, the longest ever in NASCAR’s history.
In the years that followed, Smith found success opening several automotive dealerships. Opened in 1966, his first dealership was Frontier Ford in Rockford, Ill, where he married and started a family. While growing his automotive business, Smith’s passion for auto racing never wavered.
“I love the racing business. I want to contribute more and more,” Smith said in 2015. “You hear us preach about ‘fan friendly.’ I think that is a driver for me to just do more things. I enjoy the contributions I’ve been able to make to the sport.”
Under Smith’s innovative direction, Speedway Motorsports facilities were the first in racing to add condominiums, fine-dining Speedway Clubs, superspeedway lighting and giant high-definition video screens.
“When you think about the Charlotte Motor Speedway and Bristol, and tracks like New Hampshire and Sonoma and Atlanta, he’s been the best,” 2019 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee and fellow automobile dealer Roger Penske told NASCAR.com in 2016. “There’s no question. He set the bar.”
“His mind is racing all the time; he’s done so much for the sport,” said Rick Hendrick, an auto dealer and fellow NASCAR Hall of Famer, in a 2016 interview with NASCAR.com. “He’s so brave to step out and try things that have never been tried before. He helped build this sport.”
Following a 2021 victory at zMAX Dragway, John Force dedicated the win to Smith.
“I love this guy and everything he’s done for our sport,” said the 16-time NHRA champion. “I’m excited I get to send this trophy home to somebody I love---a guy who built our sport.”
“I learned from my own experience that when people go to an event – like a big race – they may know who won the race, but all the other stuff they don’t remember,” Smith once said. “I want to put something on so regardless who won the race, it will be a memorable experience. We’re here to entertain fans, and I want them to go home with a memory that will last forever.”
A true entrepreneur at heart, Smith had a passion for growing people and business. His love of the automobile and racing businesses drove him to continually build and expand, all while taking care of his family and co-workers.
Among his accolades, Smith was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s 2016 class. In 2007, he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and he became a member of the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame in 2006.
Even with his many accomplishments in motorsports, Smith often commented that the auto retail business was his first love and maintained his primary office at his Town & Country Ford dealership in Charlotte throughout his distinguished career.
“You have trophies, you have championships, you have wins, but friends are what really make the difference,” fellow NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Darrell Waltrip said about Smith in 2019. “Bruton Smith has been one of my heroes since I started racing in NASCAR in 1972.”
In addition to his business interests, Smith founded Speedway Children's Charities in 1982 as a memoriam and legacy to his son, Bruton Cameron Smith, who passed away at a very young age. Given his experience, Smith became passionate about wanting to help children in need and Speedway Children’s Charities was created to focus on serving communities surrounding Speedway Motorsports race tracks. Speedway Children’s Charities chapters work with organizations to identify and resolve pressing issues ranging from learning disabilities and broken homes to hunger and childhood cancer.
Through 2021, Speedway Children’s Charities has distributed more than $61 million to local organizations across the country that improve the quality of life for children in need.
Marcus G. Smith
Marcus G. Smith, 44, became a director of Speedway Motorsports in 2004 and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2015. Mr. Smith continues to serve as President of Speedway Motorsports, a position he has held since May 2008. Mr. Smith previously served as Chief Operating Officer from May 2008 to February 2015. Prior to that appointment, Mr. Smith served as Executive Vice President of National Sales and Marketing for Speedway Motorsports since 2004. Mr. Smith was also appointed President and General Manager of CMS in May 2008. Mr. Smith joined the Company in 1996 as a sales associate at CMS and was named Manager of New Business Development in 1999. In September 2015, Mr. Smith was appointed to serve as Chief Executive Officer of AMS, BMS, KyS, LVMS, NHMS, Sonoma Raceway and TMS. Prior to that appointment, Mr. Smith served as the Chief Operating Officer, or in a similar capacity since 2008. Mr. Smith is the son of Mr. O. Bruton Smith. Mr. Smith grew up in the motorsports business, and successfully led one of the Company’s most important drivers of revenue, corporate sales and marketing.
David Bruton Smith
David Bruton Smith was elected Chief Executive Officer of Sonic in September 2018. Prior to his election as Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Smith served as Sonic’s Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Strategic Officer from March 2018 to September 2018, as Sonic’s Vice Chairman from March 2013 to March 2018 and as an Executive Vice President of Sonic from October 2008 to March 2013. He has served as a director of Sonic since October 2008 and has served in Sonic’s organization since 1998. Prior to being named an Executive Vice President and a director in October 2008, Mr. Smith had served as Sonic’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Development since March 2007. Mr. Smith served as Sonic’s Vice President of Corporate Strategy from October 2005 to March 2007, and also served prior to that time as Dealer Operator and General Manager of several Sonic dealerships.
Scott Smith, 51, is Co-Founder of Sonic Automotive, Inc. ("SAI") and has over 28 years of experience in the automobile dealership industry. He served as the Chief Executive Officer, President and a director of SAI between July 2015 and September 2018. Prior to his appointment as Chief Executive Officer of SAI in July 2015, he served as President and Chief Strategic Officer of SAI since March 2007. Prior to that, Mr. Scott Smith served as SAI's Vice Chairman and Chief Strategic Officer from October 2002 to March 2007 and President and Chief Operating Officer from April 1997 to October 2002. He also served as a director of SAI from January 1997 until September 2018. Mr. Scott Smith, is the son of Mr. O. Bruton Smith, and the brother of Mr. Marcus G. Smith.
William R. Brooks
William R. Brooks, 68, has been Vice President, Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer and a director of Speedway Motorsports since its organization in 1994. In February 2004, Mr. Brooks became an Executive Vice President of Speedway Motorsports, and in May 2008 was promoted to Vice Chairman. Mr. Brooks joined Sonic Financial from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP ("PwC") in 1983, currently is an officer of Sonic Financial, has served as Vice President of CMS since before the organization of SMI, and has been Vice President and a director of AMS since its acquisition and TMS since its formation. He has served as Vice President of BMS, LVMS, Sonoma Raceway, KyS and NHMS since their acquisitions. In addition, Mr. Brooks serves as an officer and a director, or in a similar capacity, for many of Speedway Motorsports's other subsidiaries. Mr. Brooks also has served as a director of SAI since its formation in 1997. Mr. Brooks has been involved in the motorsports business since 1979 when he served on the PwC team that audited CMS. Mr. Brooks was the Company’s Chief Financial Officer when it went public in 1995.
Jerry N. Caldwell
Jerry N. Caldwell is President and General Manager of Bristol Motor Speedway. Caldwell joined Bristol in 1997 and spent 13 years working for the iconic speedway in various positions within the Corporate Sales and Marketing Department.
Caldwell, a graduate of King University, was promoted to General Manager in December of 2012. He assumed the role of President in January of 2022.
Mark Faber joined Speedway Motorsports as the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Texas Motor Speedway in August of 2022. Faber spent 17 years as an event entertainment executive with AEG, last serving as Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships for T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. His background also includes employment with the Orange Bowl, Dallas Cowboys, Learfield Sports and Host Communications.
A graduate of the University of Kansas, Faber obtained degrees in political science and history and earned a masters in business administration.
No stranger to Speedway Motorsports, Greci relocated to Nashville shortly after the company acquired the 1.33-mile speedway as part of its purchase of Dover Motorsports in 2021. Prior to that, Greci spent nearly 16 years at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he began his career as a sales department intern, then joined the speedway full-time as the track rental and suite coordinator for corporate sales. Greci moved to the events department in 2008, working his way from events manager to vice president of events.
During his tenure at Charlotte, Greci earned recognition as the CMS Employee of the Year in 2013. He also received the company’s highest honor, the prestigious Speedway Motorsports O. Bruton Smith Award in 2018, while managing event production at zMAX Dragway, The Dirt Track and the legendary superspeedway. A native of Granby, Conn., Greci earned a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management from Wingate University in 2006.
Jill Gregory is Executive Vice President and General Manager at Sonoma Raceway and leads all operations for the historic 1,600-acre property in Sonoma, Calif. Named by Adweek as one of “The Most Powerful Women in Sports,” Gregory began her new role and assumed leadership of the racetrack on February 1, 2021.
Previously, Gregory served as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Content Officer at NASCAR. Gregory earned a BA in journalism from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California.
Brandon Hutchison was promoted to Executive Vice President and General Manager of Atlanta Motor Speedway in November of 2018. Hutchison joined AMS as a Public Relations intern in March of 1995 and was hired as a Track Rental Coordinator by the speedway four months later.
Hutchison also served as the Director of Events and the Vice President of Events before he was promoted to Assistant General Manager in September of 2014. A native of Georgia, Hutchison grew up in Lawrenceville. He graduated in 1995 with a BS in communications arts from Georgia Southern University.
David McGrath joined New Hampshire Motor Speedway in November of 2011 as the speedway’s Director of Advertising and Promotions. After serving as Vice President of Marketing and Promotions and Vice President of Corporate Sales, McGrath was promoted to Executive Vice President and General Manager in October of 2015.
Born and raised in Marlborough, Massachusetts, McGrath is a graduate of Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado, where he received a BA in speech communications and a minor in English.
Christopher Powell has served as President of Las Vegas Motor Speedway since June of 2008. Prior to that appointment, he served as Vice President and General Manager beginning with the track’s Speedway Motorsports acquisition in 1998.
Before joining Las Vegas, Powell spent 11 years working for Sports Marketing Enterprises. From 1994 to 1998, he served as manager of media relations and publicity on RJR’s NASCAR Winston Cup program. Powell is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he majored in journalism.
Prior to joining Speedway Motorsports in January of 2022, Mike Tatoian was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Dover Motorsports, Inc., and President of Dover Motor Speedway.
Before assuming his present role as President and General Manager of Dover, Tatoian served as Chief Executive Officer of Victory Sports Group. Tatoian was promoted to President of Dover in January of 2015. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in public relations and marketing.
Greg Walter is Executive Vice President and General Manager Of Charlotte Motor Speedway. He was appointed as Charlotte’s Executive Vice President in November of 2016 after working for Speedway Motorsports since 1999, initially as Vice President of Sales for Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Walter was promoted to Executive Vice President and General Manager at Charlotte in October of 2018. Prior to his tenure with Speedway Motorsports, Walter worked as the sales manager for Capitol Broadcasting Company. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism.
Gerry Horn has served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Performance Racing Network since July of 2018. Horn has been with PRN for 20 years, joining the network as director of sales in 2002.
Horn served as the Director of Sponsorship for the Charlotte Hornets from 1992 to 2000. He earned a BA from the University of Rhode Island and completed his graduate studies in communications and advertising at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Doug Rice is the President and Lead Announcer of Performance Racing Network. Rice joined PRN in 1988 as director of affiliates and, after serving in other managerial positions, was named Vice President and General Manager in 1999.
He was promoted to President in May of 2005. Prior to joining PRN, Rice worked as the morning show host on WSTP in Salisbury, North Carolina. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University.
J. Cary Tharrington IV serves as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Speedway Motorsports. Tharrington has been the company’s Chief of Legal Office since April of 2016.
Tharrington joined Speedway Motorsports as General Counsel in January of 2006. He graduated with a BS in Criminal Justice and Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and received his J.D. from Campbell University.
Rob Ramage serves is the Senior Vice President of Governmental Relations and Deputy Counsel for Speedway Motorsports. He joined Texas Motor Speedway in 2013 as General Counsel & Director of Governmental Affairs and Senior Vice President of Finance & Compliance before being named General Manager at TMS in 2021. Ramage was promoted to his current position in Aug. of 2022.
A graduate of The University of Oklahoma with a political science degree, Ramage earned his JD at Oklahoma City University.
Mike Burch is Speedway Motorsports’ Chief Operating Officer, a title he has held since January of 2022. Burch, who joined Speedway Motorsports in 2003, previously served as Chief Strategy Officer, and, prior, as Senior Vice President of National Sales and Marketing and as Manager of Business Development.
Burch earned undergraduate degrees in Economics and Management & Society at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s degree in sport management from Georgia Southern University.
Cynthia Jacobson is Speedway Motorsports’ Executive Vice President of Human Resources, overseeing all human resources, benefits and payroll functions across all divisions in the company. A Speedway Motorsports employee since 1997, Jacobson was named EVP in 2020, after previously serving as Senior Vice President of Human Resources.
Jacobson is a graduate of The College of Charleston with a Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies.
Jessica Fickenscher is the Chief Experience Officer for Speedway Motorsports. In this role, Fickenscher develops new Fans First initiatives and continues improving the sports entertainment company’s best-in-class fan experiences.
Fickenscher, a member of Speedway Motorsports for more than two decades, also facilitates capital improvement and property development projects across all of Speedway Motorsports’ premier NASCAR facilities. Previously, Fickenscher served as Senior Vice President of Special Projects. She graduated from Belmont Abbey College with a degree in sports management and business administration.
Geoff Ulrich has served as Senior Vice President of Consumer Strategy for Speedway Motorsports since January of 2015. Ulrich oversees the brand strategy, positioning, creative, social, and consumer sales strategies for each of Speedway Motorsports’ properties.
Previously, Ulrich was the company’s Vice President of Partnerships from the time he joined Speedway Motorsports in June of 2013. He graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in marketing.
As Speedway Motorsports’ Chief Sales Officer, Kevin Camper is responsible for corporate sales revenue across all of Speedway Motorsports’ premier NASCAR facilities and its Performance Racing Network subsidiary.
Camper oversees sales leaders at each speedway to maximize revenue and facilitate best practices in corporate sales, works with executive leadership to develop new events and corporate platforms and oversees revenue at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Camper is a graduate of Liberty University.
Scott Cooper has served as the Senior Vice President of Communications for Speedway Motorsports since August of 2020. Cooper began his career with the company as Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Senior Manager of Promotions and Media Relations in 1999, before being promoted to the title of Director of Marketing and Public Relations in 2004.
Cooper was named Charlotte’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications in 2007 and served the company in that capacity for 13 years. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism.
Michael Hodge is the Executive Vice President of Finance and the Chief Accounting Officer for Speedway Motorsports, a role he has held since December of 2020.
Hodge has been a member of the Speedway Motorsports family for more than 15 years, starting as the Director of Finance in August of 2006. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a degree in accounting.
Jason Bowling has served as the Senior Vice President of Ticket and Marketing Information since August of 2014. Bowling oversees all consumer experience data and platforms including: CRM, ticketing, email and mobile applications.
Bowling began his career with the company as Texas Motor Speedway’s Credentials Coordinator in 1999, before being promoted to Director of Ticket Operations in 2004. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in sports management.
Jonathan Brady is the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Speedway Motorsports, a role in which he has served the company managing information technology systems since 2008.
Brady joined Speedway Motorsports as the Director of Information Technology in 2003. Previously, Brady served in the U.S. Air Force working in munitions and communications technology from 1993-2002.
Steve Swift is the Senior Vice President of Operations and Development, a role in which he has served since 2019 overseeing construction projects and capital expenditures across all company properties and standardizing best practice operational procedures.
Swift joined Speedway Motorsports in 2004 as a Senior Construction Manager, served as Vice President of Operations and Development at Kentucky Speedway in 2011 and was named Vice President of Operations and Development at the corporate level in 2015. Swift graduated from East Tennessee State University with a degree in construction engineering technology.