Centennial, Colo. (April 5, 2001)-SCCA Pro Racing Ltd. announced two new appointments today, naming Steve Johnson President and CEO and Mitch Wright Vice President and General Manager.
Johnson replaces Nick Craw, who took over the interim post as President and CEO upon the departure of K.C. Van Niman in February. Johnson, who holds the similar position with SCCA Pro Racing's parent company, the Sports Car Club of America, believes the appointments are a positive step for the professional sanctioning body and its products, the Trans-Am, Speedvision World Challenge and Pro Spec Racer series.
"SCCA is a powerhouse both on the Club and Professional level, and this will just make the two entities stronger," said Johnson. "I look forward to working with our track partners, sponsors, participants and membership to carry our current momentum into the future."
"When I took the post with Pro Racing, the Board of Directors, the staff, and I had an understanding that it was temporary, and that my role was to help return Pro Racing to solid financial ground," said Craw, who also served as the SCCA, Inc. President and CEO for over 17 years. "With that accomplished, I believe that Steve has a good organization and product to build upon in the coming years."
Johnson is the first individual to serve as President and CEO of both organizations since Pro Racing split out as a wholly owned, for profit subsidiary in 1993. He brings more than 15 years of experience in all facets of sales management, marketing and cross-functional officer's duties with several Fortune 500 companies and a major professional sports organization. Prior to his SCCA appointment in June, 2000, Johnson served as National Hot Rod Association Vice President of Sales.
"One of the benefits to partnering the two organizations is the end result of the best marketing value in racing," said Johnson. "With over 2000 grass roots events and over 20 high-profile professional race weekends, the SCCA can offer its strategic partners, including Speedvision and the Panoz/Sanchez Group, more value than ever before."
Wright has been promoted to Vice President and General Manager of SCCA Pro Racing from Speedvision World Challenge General Manager. In addition to his duties with the World Challenge, Wright will oversee the day-to-day operations of Pro Racing as a whole.
"I look forward to developing the products we have created in Pro Racing," said Wright. "In addition to great products, we have a highly competent team of individuals to help carry out those goals. I expect to keep the 'fun factor' in racing and grow with our partners, sponsors, participants and race fans to new levels of success in North American racing."
"Mitch has been instrumental in bringing the World Challenge series up to what it is today, and has the right tools to direct Pro Racing positively," said Johnson.
Wright came to SCCA Pro Racing as the World Challenge Technical Manager in 1996 after nearly two decades in motorsports as a competitor, prep shop owner and team manager. His distinguished driving career included the 1991 World Challenge Super Production Drivers' Championship and the 1993 Trans-Am Series Most Improved Driver award. Under Wright's management, Archer Brothers Racing won four Drivers' and four Manufacturers' Championships from 1990 through 1993 in World Challenge competition.