Dover International Speedway names new track president

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Dover Motorsports has announced that Michael Tatoian will become the new track president of Dover International Speedway, effective Jan. 2, 2015.

Tatoian, who will retain his current position of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Dover Motorsports, will continue to report to the company’s president and CEO, Denis McGlynn.

Tatoian has been important in bringing additional events to Dover International Speedway beyond its two annual NASCAR weekends, including the Firefly Music Festival and the new Big Barrel Country Music Festival.

The four-day Firefly attracts 80,000 people per day, and now Dover will look for similar success with Big Barrel in June of 2015.

In an interview with the Delaware State News, Tatoian indicates that many of his current duties will remain the same as he takes over as president. In his words, “[his] plate will just get fuller.”

“I think it’s a privilege to be in the sports industry and to be able to be in the position where you have the ability to impact so many lives and fans, positively creating memories,” Tatoian added.

Tatoian has more than 25 years of experience in various aspects of professional sports, including ownership, management and operations. In previous jobs, he oversaw the development and management of multiple franchises in minor league sports and indoor football.

“Mike joined us eight years ago and immediately immersed himself into the operations and culture of our team while earning the respect of both his co-workers and those outside the company as well,” McGlynn said in his statement.

“Mike is a valuable and popular contributor to our efforts here and Dover International Speedway will benefit from his leadership for many years to come.”

Will Power nips Jack Harvey at finish to pace Road America practice

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Will Power led the only IndyCar Road America practice of the weekend Saturday, shooting to the top of the chart on his 22nd and final lap of the session at 1 minute, 46.0021 seconds in his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet.

Dixon knocked Jack Harvey’s No. 60 Dallara-Honda from the top spot (which would have marked the first time that a Meyer-Shank Racing car led practice).

Josef Newgarden, Power’s Team Penske teammate, was third, followed by Felix Rosenqvist and Ryan Hunter-Reay (who went off course late in the session but sustained no damage).

Alex Palou, Colton Herta, Graham Rahal, defending race winner Alexander Rossi and Pato O’Ward rounded out the top 10 in the practice that preceded a Saturday-Sunday race weekend doubleheader for IndyCar at Road America.

PRACTICE RESULTS: Click here to see who was fastest in the session

RACE INFORMATION: What you need to know for today’s REV Group Grand Prix

RATED ROOKIE: Rinus VeeKay rebounding well from a tough debut

IndyCar tested some new cooling devices with cars from Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske. Several drivers have said the cockpit heat caused by the new aeroscreen was stifling during last week’s GMR Grand Prix, and IndyCar repositioned drink bottles this weekend to keep liquids cool. The pieces tried by IndyCar during the Road America practice won’t be available during the races Saturday and Sunday at the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, road course.

Scott Dixon, who is seeking to open the season with his third consecutive IndyCar victory, was 15th fastest in the 75-minute session. Other notables in Road America practice: Marco Andretti (12th), Simon Pagenaud (19th).

Power is aiming for his second consecutive pole position after qualifying first last week on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Qualifying for the REV Group Grand Prix Race #1 will take place at 2:15 p.m. ET (NBCSNNBC Sports Gold).

The broadcast of the IndyCar race at Road America will begin at 5 p.m. on NBCSN.