Jerry Gappens Named to Head New Hampshire International Speedway
Track Hosts Mod Tour and Busch East Series Events
Speedway Motorsports Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bruton Smith has promoted Jerry Gappens to the position of Executive Vice President and General Manager at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Jerry Gappens (Lowe's Motor Speedway Photo)
On Nov. 2, Smith announced Speedway Motorsports Inc. (NYSE: TRK) had reached an agreement to purchase New Hampshire International Speedway from Bob and Gary Bahre. The $340 million transaction should close early in the first quarter of 2008, and the name of the facility will become New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Gappens, 46, has worked in the motorsports industry for 25 years and brings a successful 15-year track record of promoting SMI events to Loudon, N.H. Most recently, Gappens served as senior vice president of events and marketing for Lowe’s Motor Speedway, SMI’s flagship facility located near Charlotte, N.C. Gappens was responsible for promoting a wide array of annual events hosted at the multi-use motorsports complex, including three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race weekends and three major car shows.
“Jerry brings a wealth of industry experience, passion and excitement to his new job with our company,” said Smith. “He is well-respected in our industry and has an excellent understanding of how we promote and market our events. Jerry will work hard to grow and expand our business through this acquisition of New Hampshire International Speedway.”
A Windfall, Ind., native, Gappens joined LMS in 1993 as publicity director. He was promoted to director of communications in 1995 and named vice president of promotions and public relations in 1996. In 2002, Gappens was honored as NASCAR’s Most Valuable Public Relations Representative. He was promoted to senior vice president of events and marketing at LMS in 2005.
“Bruton has given me a wonderful opportunity and I am sincerely grateful for his trust and confidence in appointing me to this new role,” Gappens said. “After flying up last week to tour the facility and meet the staff, I am truly excited about building on the success they already enjoy.”
Prior to joining Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Gappens worked as an account executive for Sales Consultants, a national contingency search firm in New Jersey. He also worked with National Speed Sport News, a leading weekly motorsports publication, for eight years and served as a pit reporter for ABC Sports’ coverage of the Indianapolis 500; various CART, NASCAR and IROC races; and the Monaco Grand Prix Formula One event.
Active in various civic and charitable organizations, Gappens has served on several boards in the Charlotte region, including the Charlotte Visitors and Convention Bureau, Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce, UNC-Charlotte Athletic Foundation, Speedway Children’s Charities and the 600 Festival.
Gappens, who will relocate from Charlotte to New Hampshire, has two sons, Denny (22) and Wes (21).