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Centre grad races to the top as NASCAR executive

Staff writer

Eric Peterson has just completed a personal race to the top in the NASCAR world. Last week, he was hired as president of the NASCAR-owned Iowa Speedway at Newton, Iowa.

He is excited about his new position because he will be overseeing the track’s first NASCAR Cup races.

A Lincolnville native and 2004 Centre graduate, Peterson majored in business management at Emporia State University. His first job was with Octagon, a sports marketing group.

In 2010, he was hired by NASCAR’s Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. He oversaw group ticket sales to companies and became a hospitality sales manager and marketing supervisor.

In 2020, his job was expanded to oversee marketing of events in NASCAR’s west region, including Kansas, Arizona, California, and Iowa speedways.

He recruited many national name brand such as Toyota, Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, Proctor and Gamble, and Mobster Energy to sponsor races and tracks.

Peterson’s new position at Iowa Speedway is a major step up. He will oversee all aspects of racetrack operations.

“There are only a few NASCAR track presidents, and I feel privileged to be one of them,” Peterson said.

Tickets for NASCAR cup races sold out quickly.

“Showing that we have a sold-out race in a matter of minutes really does prove that there is an appetite for racing at Iowa Speedway,” Peterson said in an interview with nascar.com. “If you haven’t been to a NASCAR race, it is an experience unlike any other in any sport or any entertainment. It’s great watching it on television, but being there is such a visceral experience.”

The event will include activities for the whole family, including fan zones, kid zones, sponsor booths and activities, and musical artists outside the track.

Peterson and his wife, Ashley, and their two children – Ellie, 7, and Charlotte, 1 – will be moving in two weeks to Ankeny, a suburb of Des Moines.

His father, Marvin, who lives at Marion County Park and Lake, is a longtime subscriber to the Marion County Record.

Marvin would bring stacks of the newspaper for Eric to read whenever he visited the family in Kansas City.

Marvin recently bought a subscription for the family.

“I am a very loyal fan, and I always enjoy reading it,” Eric Peterson said.

Last modified Feb. 14, 2024

 

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