Ben Kennedy, son of Daytona-based NASCAR principal Lesa France Kennedy, among four promoted to VP posts

Photos for Headline Surfer / Ben Kennedy, shown from his racing days and more recently off the tracks, is among four promoted to VP slots with NASCAR. Shown in the smaller pics are John Martin (top), Patrick Rogers (middle) and Chris Schwarts (bottom). 

By HENRY FREDERICK / Headline Surfer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Ben Kennedy, a former driver in NASCAR's truck series, who won a race and escaped serious injury in a crash, is following his far-more famous France Family menmbers up the corporate ladder as one of the racing giant's four new vice presidents.

Kennedy, son of Lesa France Kennedy, the vice chair of NASCAR, has been promoted to vice president of NASCAR Racing Development. 

The other three newly-promoted VPs are:

• John Martin to vice president of NASCAR Event Technology;

• Patrick Rogers to vice president of NASCAR Marketing Services;

• Chris Schwartz to vice president, of NASCAR Media Properties. 

Kennedy will oversee strategic racing development initiatives for each of NASCAR’s series, including development of future national series’ schedules and international expansion.

Having competed in both the NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series, as well as previously serving as general manager of the Truck Series, Kennedy will play a key role in working with NASCAR senior leadership to develop long term racing development strategies. 

Kennedy will remain based in Concord, NC and will continue to report to Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR's executive vice president and chief racing development officer.

O'Donnell had nothing but praise for Kennedy, citing his prior on-track experiences as key to his new duties. 

“Ben is a true racer at heart and has a tremendous understanding of what contributes to a strong race from a driver and a fan’s perspective,” O’Donnel stressed. “His love of motorsports and his commitment to delivering great racing for our fans comes through in everything he does. The sport is fortunate to have a rising leader like Ben and I look forward to his future leadership in this important area.”  

Ben Kennedy with mom, Lesa France Kennedy, primcipal of NASCAR / Headline Surfer InfographicSteve O’Donnell, NASCAR's executive vice president and chief racing development officer, had nothing but praise for Ben Kennedy, citing his prior on-track experiences as key to his new duties. 

“Ben is a true racer at heart and has a tremendous understanding of what contributes to a strong race from a driver and a fan’s perspective,” O’Donnel stressed. “His love of motorsports and his commitment to delivering great racing for our fans comes through in everything he does. The sport is fortunate to have a rising leader like Ben and I look forward to his future leadership in this important area.”  

Martin will oversee all technology related to the fan and industry at-track experience and across NASCAR’s media platforms and products, having previously served in a variety of leadership roles across NASCAR Productions and NASCAR Digital and for being instrumental in the initial roll-out of NASCAR.com. 

Martin will remain based in Charlotte and will report to Craig Neeb, NASCAR's executive vice president and chief innovation officer.

“John brings extensive experience and passion to this position,” Neeb said of Martin. “His spirit of innovation, coupled with his success working across the industry and driving collaboration and partnership, makes him an ideal fit to lead this group into the future.”

Rogers will oversee all marketing services across teams, drivers and tracks, serving as the main point of leadership with industry stakeholders in implementing NASCAR’s integrated marketing strategy and maximizing the potential impact of all industry assets.

Rogers has led the sanctioning body’s collaborative marketing work with race teams and drivers and is expected to take that work to another level with his new, broader duties.

Rogers will remain based in Charlotte and will continue to report to Pete Jung, NASCAR's senior vice president for marketing. 

“Patrick has developed strong relationships throughout the garage and has a track record of success in developing marketing opportunities for our drivers, teams and tracks that deliver for our fans,” Jung said of Rogers.

“His leadership in bringing the industry together cannot be overstated and I am excited about the impact he and his team will have as we seek new and innovative ways in bringing our fans closer to our drivers, teams and racetracks.”

In his new elevated role, Schwartz will continue to lead MRN and Racing Electronics and work closely with NASCAR’s media functions to integrate that technology across NASCAR media platforms.

His focus will be working with NASCAR’s media partners and senior leadership to build upon strategies to distribute live audio content and dynamic in-venue technology to race fans, both at-home and at the track.

Schwartz will be based in Charlotte and will report to Brian Herbst, NASCAR's senior vice president for media and productions. 

“Chris is a seasoned industry executive that understands the opportunities that exist for our sport and our fans as we develop engaging media platforms and content across our industry,” Herbst said of Schwartz. 

“He has a proven track record in developing strong, innovative media partnerships with multiple stakeholders that will position our sport well as the media landscape evolves.”

About NASCAR: 
• The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. or NASCAR, is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the US and owner of 16 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR consists of three national series (NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
• NASCAR also has three regional series, one local grassroots series, three international series and the Automobile Racing Club of America or ARCA. The International Motor Sports Association or IMSA, governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the premier U.S. sports car series. 
• NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, Americrown Service and One Daytona.
• Based in Daytona Beach, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, as well as in Canada, Mexico and in parts of Europe. For more information, please visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’). 
 
Previous-Related Coverage:
Post Date: Oct. 28, 2019
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR has successfully closed its acquisition of International Speedway Corporation, merging its operations into one, new company moving forward.
The new company will remain based in Daytona Beach and will continue as NASCAR. As part of this process, ISC has been delisted from NASDAQ.  
 
Award-Winning Journalism Coverage of NASCAR / Daytona 500:
Henry Frederick has won more journalism awards covering NASCAR and the Daytona 500 race than any other reporter in Central Florida over the last two decades. Here are the award-winning entries:
 
• 2019 Florida Press Club, Sports Writing, Third Place, Henry Frederick, Headline Surfer, Daytona Beach, FL 
• 2018 Florida Press Club, Sports Writing, First Place, Henry Frederick, Headline Surfer, Daytona Beach, FL 
• 2016, Florida Press Club, First Place, Sports Writing, Henry Frederick, Headline Surfer, Daytona Beach, FL
• 2012 Florida Press Club, First Place, Blog Writing, Henry Frederick, Headline Surfer, Daytona Beach, FL
 
• 2003 Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Chapter, First Place / Large Newspapers, Henry Frederick, Daytona Beach News-Journal, Daytona Beach, FL
 Lawsuit monopoly justifies splitting up NASCAR
• 2003 Florida Society of Newspaper Editors, Third Place, Henry Frederick, Daytona Beach News-Journal, Daytona Beach, FL
Lawsuit: Monopoly justifies splitting up NASCAR
• 2002 Florida Press Club, Third Place, Excellence in General News Writing, Henry Frederick, Daytona Beach News-Journal, Daytona Beach, FL
Lawsuit: Monopoly justifies splitting up NASCAR
Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.