MADISON, Illinois, Feb. 20, 2013 – After a successful 2012 inaugural season, Gateway Motorsports Park owner Curtis Francois wasted no time in recruiting one of the industry’s most regarded track veterans to join his team. Francois has named 20-year racing veteran Chris Blair as senior vice president of business development and promotion. Blair will officially start February 21, and he will supervise Gateway’s overall motorsports racing operations and promotions while developing new revenue streams for the 1.25 mile Superspeedway, NHRA sanctioned drag strip, road course and venues currently under development.
Chris is one of the most sought-after professionals in the racing business,” said Francois. “Few racing professionals have the operational breadth and depth Chris offers, and his expertise will enable us to realize the long-term vision for creating a racing lifestyle that attracts enthusiasts, professionals, amateurs and street-car lovers of all kinds.
Known throughout the industry for his ability to create trend-setting fan experiences, Blair is also highly regarded by racers and marketing partners. Blair has been recognized for his accomplishments and promotional expertise by multiple drag racing, drift and oval racing organizations. He has specialized in producing major events on multiple venues including NHRA Drag Racing, NASCAR touring series, Off-Road, Formula Drift, Supercross, Monster Jam and action sports entertainment.
Blair’s experience in motorsports includes serving as Vice President of Racing Operations for Las Vegas Motor Speedway, NHRA Northwest Division Director, Director of Business Development for PACE Motorsports (now known as Feld Entertainment) and as an independent promoter and consultant for various racing teams and sanctioning bodies.
Shortly after meeting Curtis and learning about Gateway MSP, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to create some incredible events and motorsports experiences for racing fans,” said Blair. “Based upon what I see and the feedback I’ve received from drivers and their teams across the country, Gateway is poised to be one of the nation’s top-rated racetracks. I’m thrilled to be a part of racing history here in the Midwest.
The racing season at Gateway Motorsports Park officially begins March 15th, with Midnight Madness. Pre-racing activity begins with volunteer day at Gateway on Saturday, March 2nd Volunteers arrive at 9:00 am to help spruce up the park for opening day. This is a time-honored tradition in which racing fans throughout the region look forward to participating. An important key to reopening Gateway in 2012 was the commitment to drag racing and the partnership with the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). Francois inked a long-term deal with the NHRA in 2012 and this year’s event will be held September 27 – 29th
At Gateway Motorsports Park our mission is to provide our fans, racers and sponsors with a first-class, up close and personal racing experience. This includes unprecedented access to the drag strip, the oval, the road-racing track and a nationally-sanctioned karting track as well as special events such as concert and corporate functions for year-round activity at Gateway Motorsports Park. www.gatewaymsp.com