NASCAR names Sawyer as vp of competition

Nigel Kinrade/Motorsport Images

NASCAR names Sawyer as vp of competition


NASCAR names Sawyer as vp of competition


NASCAR announced several personnel moves Wednesday, including naming Elton Sawyer its senior vice president of competition.

Sawyer (pictured above with Kyle Busch), a former driver, joined NASCAR in 2015 as the managing director of the Craftsman Truck Series. His most recent role was NASCAR vice president of technical inspection and officiating.

As vice president of competition, Sawyer will oversee all aspects of on-track competition, inspection, rule development and officiating.

“I have been a proud member of this extraordinary team for eight years, and I look forward to continuing to help grow the outstanding competition we’ve seen over the last several seasons,” Sawyer said. “NASCAR racing has been my life for decades. I have a deep passion for the sport, and am honored to be in a position to help shepherd the Competition team during these exciting times.”

Sawyer replaces Scott Miller in the role. Miller will oversee the newly formed role of competition strategist within the NASCAR competition team.

“Elton Sawyer has shown incredible versatility throughout his four-plus decades in motorsports,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR chief operating officer. “Following his lengthy driving career, Elton held key leadership positions for several race teams and here at NASCAR for the last eight seasons. He will excel in this role, and we look forward to watching him continue to grow the Competition team during this crucial era in our sport’s history.

“We are thrilled that Scott Miller has chosen to remain a key part of the NASCAR Competition team. When he joined NASCAR in 2016, Scott lent immediate credibility to the position. A trusted voice in the garage, Scott used his decades of experience to lead our Competition team to new heights during a time that saw a new race format, a new playoff format and a new race car. The mark he leaves on the organization is significant.”

Miller decided to step down from his role after seven seasons. In his new capacity, he will focus on big-picture projects and long-lead planning around NASCAR competition strategy.

“After more than 40 years around race cars week after week, it’s time to step back and look at the next chapter of my life in motorsports,” Miller said. “I’m thankful to the France family and everyone at NASCAR for the opportunity they gave me seven years ago, and I appreciate the chance to stay in the fold to help however and wherever I can. We have a strong team at NASCAR, and I’m excited to remain a part of it.”

Four other NASCAR executives were promoted.

John Probst will serve as NASCAR chief racing development officer, while Dr. Eric Jacuzzi has been promoted to NASCAR vice president of vehicle performance.

Dr. John Patalak moves into the role of NASCAR vice president of safety engineering. Brandon Thomas was promoted to NASCAR vice president of vehicle design.

“John Probst’s leadership and tireless devotion in the development of the Next Gen car over the last three years has been extraordinary. This project was among the most challenging and important endeavors in NASCAR history, and leaders like Probst, Dr. Eric Jacuzzi, Dr. John Patalak, Brandon Thomas and many others worked incredibly hard to not only put this car on the racetrack, but to make it a success for our industry and our fans.”

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