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Volume 23 No. 24
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Julie Giese, ISM Raceway

Photo: ISM Raceway
Photo: ISM Raceway
Photo: ISM Raceway

Julie Giese

President, ISM Raceway

Born: Marshfield, Wis.
Education: University of Wisconsin-River Falls, B.S.

After helping lead ISM Raceway’s massive renovation project as an executive with track owner International Speedway Corp., Julie Giese  is now focused on monetizing the $178 million investment.

Giese, installed as track president last year just around the time that the multiyear renovation project was being completed, is charged with turning that nine-figure project into a worthwhile return on investment. 

She’s overseen two NASCAR race weekends since taking over, including the sold-out fall race last November. She already is planning for a race more than a year away — the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series finale, which will be hosted at a track other than Homestead-Miami for the first time since 2001.

“There’s a lot of big opportunities on the horizon for ISM Raceway, so we’ve been working really hard to take advantage of as many as possible,” said Giese, who worked in several roles for ISC since 2004 before taking on this one.

On top of planning for several races at once, Giese — currently the only female president of a major NASCAR track — also has been tasked with adding new types of events for ISM Raceway in addition to races. She credited Auto Club Speedway’s current president, Dave Allen, who runs ISC’s other West Coast venue, with helping her quickly get acquainted with the president role.

“Honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect,” Giese said of becoming a track president. “It’s been a whirlwind, but a really fun one.” — Adam Stern

Getting to know...

Favorite day-off activity: Attending any and all sporting events.

Guilty pleasure:Chocolate peanut butter cup ice cream.

Something your friends would consider “so you”:Jumping in to help with anything and everything; I don’t sit on the sidelines very well.

Attribute I look for when hiring: Work ethic.

Misperception of working in sports business:In racing, I still get questions about what we do when we aren’t hosting a race at the track. Our business is 24/7 and we are just as busy (if not busier) planning for an event as we are executing it.

Proudest professional achievement: Being part of the team that opened ISM Raceway last November to a sold-out crowd immediately after completion of the $178 million modernization project.

Woman in sports business you’d like to meet: Serena Williams. She’s an incredibly strong female role model and the best in her field.