US stock car racing series Nasar has announced that Steve Phelps will become its new president, effective 1st October.
Brent Dewar, who was only promoted to president from chief operating officer in July 2017, has elected to step down and will remain with the company through the end of the 2018 racing season, transitioning to a senior consulting and advisory role in 2019.
The change of president comes with Nascar chief executive Brian France on a leave of absence after his drink-driving and drug possession arrest on 5th August. France entered a not-guilty plea regarding the charges earlier this week.
Phelps will assume the duties held by Dewar and will report to Jim France, Nascar interim chairman and chief executive. Interestingly, the ‘interim’ title does not appear in front of Jim France’s title in the Nascar press release announcing Phelps’ promotion.
As president, Phelps will have responsibility over all competition and business operations for the sanctioning body.
Jim France said of the appointment: “[Phelps’] passion for Nascar and proven ability to work with our partners has been unparalleled over the years. We thank Brent for his service and leadership to our sport. His energy and vision have been of tremendous benefit to our employees and our industry.”
Joining Nascar in 2005, Phelps has played a key role in significant initiatives, such as negotiating key partnership agreements with Coca-Cola, Monster Energy, Comcast and Camping World, the acquisition of Nascar’s digital and social rights and leading industry collaborative efforts such as the Industry Action Plan and industry-wide marketing platforms.
Phelps brings more than three decades of experience to the role, including senior leadership roles at the National Football League (NFL) and sports agency Wasserman.
“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.”
Nascar is facing a host of changes over the next couple years. Monster, the title sponsor of the Cup Series since 2017, is leaving after 2019 and the series has announced plans to revamp the title sponsorship model for its top series.