Forty Under 40: Chip Wile
Later that day, Wile would give the drivers’ meeting speech for NASCAR’s most important track, which has seen eight track presidents in its history. But before he gave that speech he had been working on for half a month, Wile took some time to let it soak in.
The main thing on his mind, he said, was the people who had helped him ascend to this stage.
Roger Penske. Joie Chitwood. Lesa France Kennedy.
Wile had a unique experience with his Forty Under 40 selection. While he found out about the selection a few weeks earlier, the news officially came out the week of the Daytona 500. That made a big week just a little bigger.
“Certainly one of the biggest weeks of my life because of the Daytona 500 and being my first in this role, and then the announcement about the Forty Under 40 class, it added to it,” Wile said. “I got to see [fellow honorees] Sakiya Daniel [of MKTG] and Jimmy Bruns [of GMR Marketing], so we all got to kind of share that together, which was fun.”
Known as a relationship-oriented executive, Wile said he tends to be the track president who gets out and talks to fans on race day rather than the president who stays in the corporate suite. That was on display on 500 weekend as he played numerous roles, including host to drivers’ wives, girlfriends and kids.
Wile wrote all the drivers handwritten notes and, on the day of the 500, brought ice cream out to the drivers/owners lot for the spouses and their kids.
“I wanted to make sure that our competitors felt at home. They’ve been down here for a long time and we ask them to do a lot, so making sure that if they had an ask or a need, that we did everything possible to honor that request” was one thing Wile said he focused on. “It’s easier for us to make an ask if they know we’re putting the effort into their families and recognizing them.”
— Adam Stern
chip wiledaytona international speedway | president
Where born: Atlanta
Education: University of Georgia (Bachelor’s, communications)
Family: Wife, Catherine; children, twins Woodson and Rigsby (6), and Jane Alyce (4)
What do you know now that you wish you’d known at age 20: Enjoy the moment and the journey. Every day you need to be thankful for the people and environment around you.
Profession other than your own you’d most like to attempt: I have always enjoyed being on
Causes supported: The NASCAR Foundation is near and dear to my heart.
Guilty pleasure: Vanilla bean ice cream and Nutella.
I am one of the best I know at … : Being a husband, friend and father.
2017 will be a good year if … : The University of Georgia Bulldogs make it to the college football championship.
You’d be surprised to know that … : My first job out of college was working the Pfizer display encouraging men’s health at NASCAR races.