NASCAR announced today that Elton Sawyer has been promoted to the role of Vice President, Officiating and Technical Inspection and John Probst has joined the organization as Managing Director, Competition and Innovation.
Additionally, NASCAR made the following promotions within its competition team:
- Brad Moran will transition to Managing Director, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
- Brandon Thompson will become the Senior Director, Touring Series
- George Grippo will join the competition team as Managing Director, Competition Technology and Timing & Scoring
- Jusan Hamilton will become Manager, Racing Operations & Event Management
“With today’s announcement, NASCAR has aligned the Competition department to meet the ever changing and challenging needs of a highly competitive sports landscape,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “We’re delighted to see the growth of a number of our colleagues throughout the company, as well as welcoming a new one with a long history in the industry.”
Sawyer, who will continue reporting to Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller, transitions to his new role after serving the last two seasons as Managing Director of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He will oversee multiple functions to ensure NASCAR events are the best in motorsports, including inspection/officiating; officials training and development; and the events and transportation groups. Sawyer joined NASCAR in 2015 after serving as Director of Team Operations for Action Express Racing in the IMSA Series. Prior to that role, he held competition positions at Red Bull Racing and Evernham Motorsports. Sawyer also spent a portion of his racing career competing in the NASCAR national series as a driver.
Probst joins NASCAR after serving as Technical Director for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. He also held the same role at Red Bull Racing, and spent more than 11 years as Engineering Supervisor at Ford Motor Company. Probst holds engineering degrees from Penn State University and Bloomsburg (Pa.) University. His work at NASCAR will include oversight of several competition and innovation projects developed out of NASCAR’s expansive Research & Development Center in Concord, N.C.
Moran will oversee the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series after serving in a similar capacity over the NASCAR Touring Series. The Canada native brings more than 25 years of motorsports experience into the role, including serving as owner of Barrie (Ontario) Speedway.
Thompson, who will transition into Moran’s role, has more than 10 years of experience at NASCAR. He also served a two-year role as operations manager at Revolution Racing. After rejoining NASCAR in 2012, Thompson has held a number of responsibilities in the company’s Racing Operations team, including the coordination and administration of weekly race activities.
Grippo, who has provided oversight of NASCAR Productions’ Technology Field and Media Operations department as its managing director since September 2013, moves to the Competition team to lead the constantly evolving technology and timing and scoring realm, while retaining many of his at-track technology field responsibilities. Prior to joining NASCAR, Grippo held executive level positions at a number of tech companies, including SoleraTec LLC and Constellation Solutions Group.
Hamilton first joined NASCAR in 2012 as a member of the company’s Diversity Internship Program in both the Racing Operations and Integrated Marketing Communications departments. In 2013, he joined the sanctioning body fulltime as a member of its IMC team, later transitioning to the Industry Operations department. Hamilton, whose entry into racing began as a driver, will assume many of Thompson’s prior responsibilities, as well as event management assignments under Managing Event Director David Hoots.
Each executive will undergo a transition into their new assignments over the balance of the 2016 season.