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Lauri Wilks, once a Speedway Motorsports big-wig, takes a new job at the France family's Richmond track

   By Mike Mulhern

   Now just how much to read into it as part of what looks like a Joie Chitwood re-examination of key aspects of the France family's International Speedway Corp. is unclear. But just days after a new head of ISC's Homestead-Miami Speedway was announced, ISC's Richmond International Raceway got some new blood too – Lauri Wilks, as VP for marketing.
    Wilks will take the job held by Matthew Becherer, who has just been promoted to president of the Homestead track.
    Richmond president Doug Fritz made the announced Tuesday.
    It is an ironic twist perhaps for Wilks, who for years worked at Charlotte's Lowe's Motor Speedway, most recently as executive vice president of management and administration. She left that job a year ago during a management shuffle by mega-track owner Bruton Smith and son Marcus Smith. She was also a specialist in investor relations for the Smiths' Speedway Motorsports.
   She was named Charlotte businesswoman of the year in 2007.
   Chitwood, after spending some 14 years helping run Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was hired away from the job this past summer by the Frances and given the job of helping direct the 10 ISC Sprint Cup tracks – Daytona, Talladega, California, Homestead-Miami, Michigan, Watkins Glen, Chicago, Kansas, Martinsville and Phoenix. And Chitwood has spent the past four months reviewing the operations at those tracks.

  Lauri Wilks, getting a new NASCAR challenge at Richmond (Photo: HHR/Lowes Motor Speedway)

? Are these marketing folks

? Are these marketing folks trying to get more fan attendance (or corporate folks to buy more tickets in bulk) or are they retrenchment folks trying to cut operating expenses?

I think that FranceCar should hire the GoDaddy guy - he truly is making chicken salad out of chicken crap......

As for us lowly "NASCAR" fans, we're just wanting to see good racing, maybe wider tires (Hey how 'bout wider in the back and a little smaller in the front), fuel injection (no restrictor plate there) and a better racing car in general. Some more fuel mileage races would be stunning as would some more inline at 200 mph races...not.

Think these folks can help with that? Nah.

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