Acclaimed NASCAR executive and sports marketer Jill Gregory has been named the new Executive Vice President and General Manager at Sonoma Raceway. Speedway Motorsports President and Chief Executive Officer Marcus Smith made the announcement Tuesday.
Named by Adweek one of “The Most Powerful Women in Sports” for the past two years, Gregory assumes leadership of the historic 1,600-acre property where she attended her first NASCAR road course race as a teenager.
“Growing up in nearby Modesto, my cousins brought me to NASCAR races at Sonoma when I was in high school,” Gregory said. “I’ve been a true fan of this place for most of my life, and now I’m blessed with a leadership opportunity to return and inspire others to have the same love for the region that I do.”
Gregory will follow Steve Page who announced his retirement last August after nearly three decades at the helm of Sonoma Raceway.
“Jill Gregory has demonstrated innovative leadership in sports marketing for more than 25 years,” stated Smith. “She brings a background of not only professional accomplishment and familiarity with our company, but as a native of northern California, she also brings a passion for the region that makes her an exceptional successor to follow Steve Page’s distinguished career.
“I’m thrilled that Jill is joining us at Speedway Motorsports, and I look forward to seeing all that she and our Sonoma Raceway team will accomplish in the years ahead.”
“Starting with the vision of Speedway Motorsports founder Bruton Smith, I’ve always admired the company’s efforts to grow the sport of NASCAR and embrace innovative, new opportunities,” added Gregory. “I look forward to taking that same aggressive approach to further establish Sonoma Raceway as not only a premier destination for NASCAR and NHRA events, but also elevating the historic road course as a year-round tourism and driving-experience attraction.
“I’m grateful to have worked with such a talented team of people at NASCAR, and I look forward to continuing those professional relationships from a new trackside perspective on the West Coast.”
Gregory is currently the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Content Officer at NASCAR and the managing executive of the company’s Charlotte-based operations. She leads the marketing, media, communications, broadcasting and diversity and inclusion functions for NASCAR, and is responsible for the sanctioning body’s digital platform, including NASCAR.com, the NASCAR Mobile app and fantasy games. Gregory will continue in her current role through January pending transition plans and begin her new position at Sonoma Raceway Feb. 1.
“Jill’s strategic leadership has successfully guided our sport through incredibly complex challenges, all while reinventing how we engage our fans and grow this sport,” said Steve Phelps, President of NASCAR. “The impact of her legacy driving smart change management and continuous improvement will be felt for years in our operation and we look forward to partnering with Jill in her new role.”
During her tenure at NASCAR, Gregory revamped NASCAR’s marketing, content and fan development strategies to elevate strategic planning and enhance collaboration across the industry. She also launched an effort to refresh and modernize the NASCAR brand, significantly elevated the sport’s diversity and inclusion platform, and was a key leader in NASCAR’s drive to become the first major league sport to return to live competition during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to joining NASCAR, Gregory was the Senior Vice President of Motorsports Marketing for Bank of America, and previously served as Director of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series marketing program for Sprint Nextel. In 2011, Gregory was selected for the inaugural class of “Game Changers: Women in Sports Business” by Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily.