I cut my teeth in racing at Robbinswood Speedway. In my 54-year career in motorsports, I have seen every success and failure of race track promoters. I was President and General Manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway for 35 years and grew that speedway from 70,000 to 168,000 – and sold them all with creative promotions and original marketing strategies. While there, I led initiatives such as lighting the first superspeedway for nighttime racing, building condos at a speedway and being part of the management team of Speedway Motorsports, the first speedway listed on the NYSE. I am passionate about racing and I want to help you increase revenue, save money and increase your profits.
Things Humpy would not say about himself: Wheeler has been honored with numerous awards including the Belmont Abbey Grace Award, the Charlotte Chamber’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1999, the Charlotte Public Relations Society Infinity Award, the National Auto Racing Promoter of the Year Award, the North Carolina Travel Attractions Award, the Charles J. Parker Award for the person who contributed the most tourism to the state of the North Carolina, the Hugh Deery Memorial Award for outstanding service to the motorsports industry, the Humanitarian Award by the Charlotte Athletic Club, the Order of the Longleaf & Pine by the Governor of North Carolina and the Bill France Award for outstanding achievement in auto racing given by Pocono Raceway. While a student at the University of South Carolina, Wheeler was a member of the varsity football team and an amateur boxer, compiling a 40-2 record in Golden Gloves competition. He was inducted into the Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992 and is also a member of the Belmont Hall of Fame and the World Karting Association Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in May and became a member of the N.C. Public Relations Hall of Fame in April.
You can’t pick your parents but I am very lucky to have mine. First time I knew my dad’s title (I was seven), General Manager, I thought he was the janitor. I was lucky enough be around a guy who knew a little bit about motorsports. Thanks Dad. I have an extensive knowledge and expertise in sales, marketing and research. I have done work in NFL, NCAA and PGA and have been lucky enough to work with some really smart people. After college I worked as Sales Manager for World Sports Enterprises and was an executive with both GMR and Velocity Sports & Entertainment marketing firms. One day at World Sports I realized a little camera mounted in a Winston Cup car generated as much exposure as the primary sponsor (thank you Joyce Julius). Next thing I know we go from $250,000 in sales to $6,000,000. Wow. Here’s a tip of the glass to commission. I worked on great sports programs for Toyota, Gillette, Visa, ConAgra and others. I am passionate about those who care about race fans and creating a bit of technicolor each week for fans who might live a black and white life. I love to be outside, be my own boss and ride my mountain bike (I crash as much as I ride) and hang out with my wife and two hound dogs, Bob and Gus.
Favorite quote: “The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.” ~William James
I am passionate about motorsports and I have spent my entire career working at speedways. When Humpy and Trip shared the concept of Speedway Benefits to me, I was immediately on board and I wanted to make this business successful.
I have over 20 years of experience in the motorsports business and a very broad base of experience in many areas including legal maters, contract negotiations, budget management, profit and loss responsibility, cost containment, licensing, humans resources, corporate finance matters, external relations, communications sales and marketing and facility management.
I was Vice President, Communications and General Counsel of Speedway Motorsports and participated in over $500 million of capital acquisition for the company and represented the company successfully during several acquisitions. As Executive Vice President of Charlotte Motor Speedway, I learned from Humpy what it takes to run a successful speedway.
During my career, I have negotiated sponsorship agreements with values in excess of $100 million; employment agreements, real estate contracts, all while keeping legal fees within budget and adding to the profitability of the company. I was also VP of Marketing at Richmond International Speedway.
Things Lauri would not say about herself: She won the 2007 Charlotte Businesswomen of the Year Award. She received the 2004 Business North Carolina Legal Elite Award and 1998 Charlotte Business Journal Women in Business Award, among many others. She is a history geek and loves gourmet cooking. Lauri spends most of her free time at football, baseball or basketball games watching her two beautiful boys compete.
I grew up as a race track brat, traveling the short track circuit with my family throughout my childhood. By the time I was 15 I was writing race promotional business plans. Then the competition bug bit me and I began to race myself. As I traveled around racing Super Late Models in my 20’s I knew my ‘end game’ was promoting racing, so I made a mental and physical notebook of the good and bad I saw. I put my money where my mouth was by the time I was 30 years old and leased my own track. 6 years into my venture I can proudly say my track is up over 50% in attendance and over 100% in revenue. I am also one of the founding members of the Charlotte Auto Racing Show (CARS). I can proudly say I have never had to get a ‘real’ job! Like Lauri, Trip and Humpy I have a huge passion for motorsports with special attention to the business end of it.
Things Clint wouldn’t say about himself: Clint has a huge network of racing promoters around the country. He has diagnosed, solved, resolved and helped promote the racing industry throughout the country.
Whether as a spectator, competitor, or for a career I have been around racing my entire life. Growing up we were at a short track in NC or VA almost every week. After graduating from Appalachian State University, I was fortunate enough to land a job with Charlotte Motor Speedway. What started as a three week event position turned into a nearly 20 year career, where I was Director of Merchandise Operations for all 8 SMI facilities. As a competitor I have raced Legends cars, sports cars, and even a demolition derby; not winning often but always having fun with my family. My wife and I live in Kannapolis, NC and have three children. I am proud to be a part of Speedway Benefits, and look forward to meeting and working with you.
I am new to the racing world, but loving every moment! I graduated with a degree in Event Management from Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, NC. After growing up on the Emerald Coast of Florida, I started my career there as an intern with Monark Events, the #1 Event Planning Company in the area since 2000. I was involved in the planning and execution of countless events from the Sandestin Wine Festival, one of the top ten Wine Festivals in the country, to the Annika Sorenstam Charity Golf Event.
I recently had the privilege of working at The Masters in Augusta, GA. Upon my application I was recognized for my strong inter-personal and leadership skills and placed in the new Berckmans Place. There I served their most important guests, and even met with golfers such as Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods. I am thrilled to take all that I have learned and apply it in my new position at Speedway Benefits!
Things Tori wouldn’t say about herself: She is married to Adam Stapleton and they are proud parents of two-year old, Landon. She enjoys traveling with family, skiing, boating, golf, crafts and planning events for her friends and family.
I’ve spent the past 18 years driving management, sales, marketing and communications for leading hospitality, media, advertising and non-profit organizations. I began my career in operations and sales with La Quinta Inn & Suites after graduating from the Whittemore School of Business and Economics. Working in the hotel industry will prepare you for just about anything! I was then recruited by CitySearch.com and worked extensively in their internet marketing, on-line employment and advertising verticals. In 2010 I launched my own company, Mint Marketing Solutions, after seeing a need to aid small to medium sized businesses in navigating the huge world of social media. It has been my passion ever since.
I am proud to be a part of Speedway Benefits and the mission they have set forth to help grassroots racing. I am learning a lot about racing and will continue to remain focused on developing a community where promoters, track owners, sponsors and fans will thrive.
Things Terri wouldn’t say about herself: She is a professional ballet and tap dance instructor. Her daughter, Anna, shot a commercial with Tony Stewart for Bass Pro Shops. Terri is also a professional photographer who wishes she could travel around the world to shoot bustling piazzas in Italy, sleepy beach towns or creepy abandoned buildings.