NASCAR has elevated the responsibilities of Steve Phelps and Steve O’Donnell, with both assuming leadership roles in NASCAR’s Charlotte region offices, effective immediately. The moves are designed to balance the company’s senior leadership across NASCAR’s various offices and accelerate the implementation of several key growth initiatives.
“In Steve Phelps and Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR has two seasoned leaders who are highly respected throughout the industry and have records of success in leading key functions within NASCAR,” said NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian France. “Our strong teams in Charlotte and Concord are engaged in many efforts critical to the sport’s future and we’re confident having these two leaders at the helm on a day-to-day basis will accelerate projects and help us drive innovation for the future.”
Phelps, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, now will lead the company’s operations at NASCAR Plaza in Uptown Charlotte. Phelps, who will continue to report to NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar, retains all of his current responsibilities which include oversight of Brand Marketing, Integrated Marketing Communications, NASCAR Digital Media and NASCAR Properties. As part of this move, Phelps now also will assume oversight of Licensing, as well as Entertainment Marketing to bolster integration between the Los Angeles-based division and the other marketing and content disciplines operating primarily out of Charlotte.
O’Donnell assumes leadership of NASCAR’s Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina. Reporting to NASCAR President Mike Helton, O’Donnell has been named Executive Vice President & Chief Racing Development Officer and will add oversight of all operations in Concord, including Racing Development and Innovation, as well as Competition. O’Donnell maintains oversight of Racing Operations, Industry Services, Green Innovation, Touring / Weekly Series and Membership Services in addition to his new responsibilities.
Gene Stefanyshyn, who leads NASCAR’s Racing Development and Innovation group, and Robin Pemberton, who heads the Competition department, both have been promoted to senior vice president and now will report to O’Donnell. Additionally, Tom Swindell who has played a key role on several recent Racing Operations initiatives has been assigned to Concord where he will work closely with O’Donnell on short- and long-term development projects.
Stefanyshyn, who joined NASCAR in May 2013, has made an immediate impact on the company in leading the transformation and modernization of NASCAR’s rules package development, testing and parts approval processes and set in motion a number of innovation projects for future racing development. Pemberton, a long-time crew chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has played a key role in the evolution of NASCAR’s officiating model, qualifying procedures and championship format since his arrival at NASCAR in 2004.
“Gene and Robin both bring invaluable experience and unique expertise to our team in Concord, and we are enjoying some of the best competition ever in NASCAR due to their efforts,” said O’Donnell. “We are constantly looking to improve and while we have very good momentum on an array of projects, we believe we can make an already strong product even better in a variety of ways for the industry and most importantly, for the fans.”