ISC COO Joie Chitwood Marks First Major Departure Amid Acquisition
ISC COO JOIE CHITWOOD III has resigned from his post, effective Nov. 25, the first major departure at ISC amid its acquisition by NASCAR. Chitwood has been with ISC for a decade, having served as President of Daytona Int'l Speedway during its $400M renovation before stepping into the more behind-the-scenes COO role, where he has overseen the operations of ISC’s 13 tracks. Chitwood is one of the ISC execs identified in public filings as having substantial stock in the company, which will make him a windfall if and when NASCAR’s $2B acquisition of ISC closes. Chitwood said in a statement, “After 10 great years with ISC and with the pending merger, this feels like the right time to step away and find a new challenge.” NASCAR’s leadership is expected to have greater oversight of track operations under the newly combined company, which sources say is being referred to internally as both “Newco” and, more light-heartedly, “NISCAR.” Sources have been expecting departures from ISC’s leadership in the coming months; SBJ in July reported that ISC President JOHN SAUNDERS has also been mentioned as someone who could leave the company after the acquisition closes, which is expected by year’s end (Adam Stern, THE DAILY).
HAVING A VISION: In Daytona Beach, Godwin Kelly notes Chitwood was "only the second person to be president of professional racing’s two most high-profile race tracks." He served as Indianapolis Motor Speedway president for "several years before joining ISC’s management team." Chitwood in '10 replaced ROBIN BRAIG as DIS President and "helped push through the idea of transforming" the track into a "modern sports facility." After the massive overhaul of DIS was approved by the ISC board, Chitwood was "tasked with completing the project on budget, while simultaneously staging several large events" (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 8/23).