NASCAR names Brent Dewar as new COO

Leave a comment

NASCAR has announced details of an executive restructuring, with former General Motors executive Brent Dewar being named as its new chief operating officer.

Additionally, NASCAR has promoted three members of its executive management. Steve Phelps (senior vice president and chief marketing officer) and Steve O’Donnell (senior vice president of racing operations) have both been elevated to executive vice president, while Gary Crotty (general counsel) has been made chief legal officer.

Dewar spent almost three decades within General Motors and took on many assignments in his tenure there, ranging from global marketing and motorsports/sales operations for multiple brands.

His final assignment at GM was as senior vice president for Global Chevrolet, and he has spent time recently as a consultant for NASCAR on its drive to transform the competition aspect in the areas of rules, penalties, officiating and inspecting.

“In Brent Dewar, we will add a seasoned leader with deep experience in the automotive sector, plus intimate knowledge of and passion for NASCAR as well as various other forms of motorsports,” NASCAR CEO Brian France said in a statement.

“Brent brings creativity, drive, intelligence, operational acumen and a clear understanding of our assets and challenges to NASCAR. He’s a leader who’s naturally collaborative, an essential trait as we work more closely with the OEMs, teams, tracks, broadcast partners and others to grow the sport over the next decade.”

Nate Ryan of USA Today also reports that Dewar was instrumental in GM’s adaptation to digital and social media, as well as the company’s emphasis on green technology.

In an interview with Ryan, Dewar stated that he looks forward to helping attract “more youth and multicultural audiences to the sport” through those avenues.

“We were early adapters at GM to new forms of media as it migrated into digital and social,” Dewar said. “Fans choose multiple forms of media, and we have to be contextually relevant in all of those. It’s a different world today.”

Hamilton: Abu Dhabi ‘the last race with good-looking cars’ in F1

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.

Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.

Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.

“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.

“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”

Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.

“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.

“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”