To further strengthen its executive leadership team and create stronger links to key NASCAR assets, Grand-Am Road Racing announced today that longtime NASCAR executive Ed Bennett has been named chief executive officer of the sports car sanctioning body.
Bennett will continue as an officer of NASCAR, serving as a vice president and chief administrative officer. In his new role with Grand-Am, he will report directly to NASCAR President Mike Helton.
Tom Bledsoe will continue as president of Grand-Am with primary responsibility for day-to-day operations of the organization and providing leadership to the industry from a competition and membership perspective.
Bennett, who has been at NASCAR since 1998 and an officer of the company since 2000, will focus on further leveraging the collective strength of both companies through enhanced strategic planning, project management leadership and the acceleration of new business opportunities.
While he will work closely with Bledsoe on competition matters, Bennett will be the primary conduit between Grand-Am and NASCAR on marketing, sales and communications efforts.
"This move is highly significant, as we continue to grow sports car racing in this country," said Bledsoe. "This will advance our ability to combine the resources and experiences at NASCAR with the vast knowledge of international sports car racing at Grand-Am to improve the overall environment and opportunities for stakeholders across the board."
Added Bennett: "I look forward to working diligently with both Grand-Am and NASCAR to take our sports car racing property to the next level. There are a number of exciting initiatives in development at Grand-Am – and exciting challenges of bringing both organizations closer together to achieve collective goals."
A native of the Daytona Beach area, Bennett graduated from Florida State University with a B.S. in finance and also earned an M.B.A. from Stetson University. Bennett resides in Lake Mary, Fla., with his wife, Mindy, and daughter, Ailey.