The new boss, Joie Chitwood, and NASCAR's Robin Pemberton (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)
By Mike Mulhern
In a stunning move, Lesa France Kennedy, head of the family's International Speedway Corp. (ISC) has named Joie Chitwood III president of Daytona International Speedway, replacing Robin Braig, who will be leaving the company "to pursue other opportunities."
Chitwood, who helped run Indianapolis Motor Speedway for so many years, and who was also key in the construction and early operation of the Chicagoland Speedway, joined ISC last summer as vice president of business development, working in 'strategic development.'
Braig has been running Daytona since 2002. Most recently he has been in charge of laying out a $20 million-plus repaving operation at the Florida track, following the Daytona 500 pothole issue in February. He has been with ISC since 1998. Before that he worked in sports marketing for Anheuser-Busch.
Chitwood, 41, has been part of his own family's legendary Chitwood Thrill Show.
Kennedy issued a brief statement: "We are very fortunate to have a seasoned executive of Joie's proven ability to step into this important position.
"Joie is highly respected throughout the industry and brings a lifetime of motorsports entertainment experience to Daytona. We will certainly benefit."
She also said "I would also like to thank Robin for his passion and dedication to the speedway and to promoting motorsports. I wish him much success in his future endeavors."
[Note: You can use Twitter as an easy headline service for mikemulhern.net stories, with our instant Tweets to your mobile as soon as our newest NASCAR story is filed. And mikemulhern.net is mobile-friendly for viewing. You can also use the orange RSS feed button as a quickie headline service on your laptop or home computer for mikemulhern.net stories, by creating a Live Bookmark RSS feed on your web browser's toolbar. Or you can create a Google Alert for mikemulhernnet.]
The old boss: Robin Braig (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)