TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDEWAY -- The Transformation 2019 Infield Project at Talladega Superspeedway will cap off the 25-year-plus career of track Chairman Grant Lynch, according to a press release issued Wednesday.
“Lynch … will retire after more than a quarter century of the service to the track, the local community and the state of Alabama in November of next year -- just weeks after the completion of the Transformation…” and the 50th anniversary of the Speedway next year.
Lynch is described in the release as “the jubilant, likeable and community-minded head of the Talladega SuperSpeedway.”
“I have had a wonderful ride here at Talladega, and the time has gone by so fast,” Lynch said in the release. “We have always tried to make this place the very best it can be for the fans, our local communities and for everyone involved in the sport of NASCAR, as well as ARCA.
“We truly are a tourist destination for families everywhere to enjoy Southern hospitality and racing at its best. That’s why I’m so excited about next year with the Transformation, because we will once again differentiate ourselves from other sporting venues. It’s going to be incredible for everyone.
“Transformation will put an exclamation point on my career. I am proud of what I have been able to accomplish over the years and I have cherished every minute of it, but I am also super excited about the track’s future.”
The Transformation project will be highlighted by a one-of-a-kind Garage Fan Zone Experience (140,000 square feet of social and engagement areas) that will feature “up-close” fan access to the drivers and teams; interactive attractions; Wi-Fi; a 35,000-square foot covered Open Air Club, complete with 41-foot diagonal video screens; a new Gatorade Victory Lane; a Pit Road Paddock Club; and enhanced amenities in the iconic Talladega infield. In addition, there will be more than 300 new RV spaces configured inside the track.
Lynch graduated for high school in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and attended Lees-McRae Junior College and North Carolina State before joining RJ Reynolds Special Events as a Camel GT Series show car driver in 1982. Over the next 11 years, he worked his way up to senior manager of operations and public relations, “managing the company’s involvement in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series,” according to the release. He also worked on the Camel GT Series, Winston Drag Racing Series, the Vantage Cup PGA Tour and the Winston Cup Series.
Lynch joined the staff of the Talladega Superspeedway in 1993 as general manager. He was promoted to vice president of International Speedway Corporation (ISC) and president of Talladega Superspeedway in November of the same year.
In 1997, he was appointed to oversee the construction of Kansas Speedway, and in early 2000, he took on additional responsibilities with Chicagoland Speedway. He was named ISC senior vice president of business operations in July 2007. He achieved his current position in July 2009.
During his long tenure in Talladega, Lynch oversaw the construction of the garages in 1999, “as well as new grandstands with more comfortable fold-out chairs and video boards.
“Also … the track’s second major weekend was shifted from summer to fall, and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series made its debut in 2006.”
Other new programs and events include “The Big One on the Boulevard,” the traditional Saturday night infield concert, Kids VIP, Military and First Responders, and Teacher and Educator Appreciation.
“While at Talladega, Lynch has been a major contributor in the community, serving on numerous boards and helping with charitable activities. He is currently on the Alabama Wildlife Federation board, Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind board and Antique Talladega (board),” as current chairman.
He has previously served on the Boy Scouts Council, Regions Bank board and chairman or vice chairman of the Talladega County Economic Development Authority for almost the entirety of his time here.
International Speedway Corporation Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy said in the release, “Grant is one of the most spirited and beloved characters in our sport and has been a perfect fit to head Talladega Superspeedway for more than half of the track’s existence.
“He has always put his heart and soul into the success of the track, the sport of NASCAR, the local community and the state of Alabama. All of us at ISC are excited to have him lead the charge on Transformation -- The Talladega Superspeedway Infield Project. We can’t thank him enough for what he has meant to the track and to so many people.”