Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 22 No. 35
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

Forty Under 40 memories: Steve Phelps

Photo: Scott Hunter / NASCAR


President, NASCAR

Selected to Forty Under 40 classes in 2000 and 2001 when he was a vice president at the NFL


What do you remember most about being named to Forty Under 40?

What stands out most to me is the sense of camaraderie among our group of honorees. It was special to be recognized with men and women that I respected and admired from afar. Years later, we still share that common bond.


What impact did it have on your career?

When you look at the list of honorees over the past 20 years, it’s a “who’s who” of industry influencers and executives. At the time, being named Forty Under 40 affirmed that I was making a positive contribution to the industry. I’m still proud to be a member of the fraternity. 


What does being selected for Forty Under 40 mean for professional development of young executives?

Working in sports requires an incredible amount of sacrifice, discipline and dedication. At times, it’s easy to feel as if that effort is going unnoticed. For young executives, being included among current and past honorees is incredibly validating. Nearly 20 years later, it’s an award that remains special to me. 


Are there any other thoughts/memories about Forty Under 40 that you would like to share?

Attending the first Forty Under 40 awards dinner at the Waldorf Astoria was memorable. Being honored the following year with other talented industry contemporaries was humbling. Many of the early honorees continue to have significant influence across the industry today, including Lesa France Kennedy, Adam Silver and Mark Lazarus. I have fond memories of the moments I shared with fellow honorees in attendance.