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TRA taps Williams as GM Group seeks to secure Fairgrounds racing lease

Tennessee Racing Associates, LLC this week announced the hiring of Nashville native and Fairgrounds Speedway Hall of Fame member Joe T. Williams as general manager of the groups efforts to secure the racing lease at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds for 2012.

“I am honored to be considered,” said Williams. “There is much work to be done, starting with the lease, but I sense a commitment of time and resources by a great group of investors that can make this work.”

Williams brings an eclectic history to the task, including radio and television, racetrack management and public relations, writing and industrial health and safety. He has had success in both the private and governmental sectors.

Williams was also one of the architects of the facilitys resurgence in the mid-’80s when it became the top weekly track in the country, averaging more than 11,000 fans per event, after losing two NASCAR Cup dates in a bankruptcy fiasco.

“I have had the great fortune of learning from master promoters like Bob Harmon, Gary Baker and Joe Carver,” he said, “people with a passion for both the sport and the business of racing. The market is not the same as it was, but with the excitement of local racing and the benefit to neighbors, drivers, fans and advertisers, it can be.”

Tennessee Racing Associates formed recently as two-time Daytona 500 champion Sterling Marlin and past NASCAR standouts Chad Chaffin and Mike Alexander joined with several other racers and businessmen with the single mission of procuring the rights to continue the history of automobile racing at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds.

The group of 10 brings more than 250 years of racing experience and more than 50 championships from across the southeast, but more importantly more than 300 years of successful business operation in multiple fields.

The group includes:

Sterling Marlin: a two-time winner of NASCAR’s biggest race, the Daytona 500, Marlin is also a three-time track champion at Nashville and a long history of success in farming, automobile sales and real estate endeavors. 

Chad Chaffin: a two-time track champion at Nashville and a regular on the NASCAR Nationwide, two-time winner on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and member of the Fairgrounds Speedway Hall of Fame, he is also the owner of Southeast Recycling, one of the largest fiber recycling operations in the United States.

Mike Alexander: a two-time Nashville champion, he also won the 1983 NASCAR National Championship for short track racers, was a regular on the NASCAR Nationwide and Spring Cup Series, and was an integral part of the success of the Alexander Automotive Group, Tennessee’s largest family-owned dealer franchise before it was sold earlier this year.  He is also a member of the Fairgrounds Speedway Hall of Fame.

Ricky Bolden: a lifelong Nashville resident, Bolden has two championships at Nashville and more than 50 feature wins in four divisions to his credit.  He has been the president of B & B Truck Parts and Service since 1986.

Neil Chaffin: a two time champion at Nashville with more than 40 years of racing experience as a driver and owner, former member of the Tennessee State Fair Board, he is the retired founder of N & S Salvage, and owned Highland Rim Speedway for 15 years.

Wayne Day: winner of more than 100 races as a car owner and holder of the 1983 Nashville title with Jerry Sisco driving. He is also the president of 31-W Insulation and Day Enterprises, family-run companies he founded in 1972.

William “Bill” Freeman: a long time racing supporter, he is the co-founder of Freeman-Webb, Inc, a real estate and property management company.

Mark Miles: the father of 2011 Nashville Track Champion Tyler Miles, who has won multiple titles nationally in the World Karting Association as well as at tracks around the southeast including Huntsville and Montgomery. He is also the owner and president of US Industrial Services and US Industrial Warehouse in the fields of industrial contract services, warehousing and logistics.

Donald Mingus: has been involved in racing across the southeast for more than 25 years.  He is the owner/president of Nashville’s Team Construction and serves in the same role for DBV Properties.

Donnie Redd: a long-time member of NASCAR’s Timing and Scoring officiating team, he has been involved at the Fairgrounds for over 30 years, serving at various times in scoring, media relations, community relations and as general manager.  He now operates a real estate rental and leasing business in Shelbyville.

Johnny Turner: the former Old Hickory resident is the owner of Crown Jewelry and Gifts in Franklin, a company he founded in 1998. Turner raced at the Fairgrounds though out the 1980’s.


Posted on: 11/30/2011


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