One of NASCAR‘s most popular short tracks has just made a major change for the future. Richmond Raceway has named a new track president, Lori Collier Waran, making her the first female president in the track’s 76-year history.
Richmond Raceway announced the news on June 17 with a press release. The track confirmed that she will take over her new role on July 11. She will become the fourth president in the track’s history, and she will set out to ensure that the upcoming races at Richmond Raceway are standout events for the attendees.
“The Commonwealth of Virginia is my home, so as a member of the greater Richmond community and lifelong fan of NASCAR, I am honored to take on the leadership of Richmond Raceway,” Waran said in a press release. “Richmond Raceway is one of the most historic tracks in motorsports, and the fans in RVA are some of the most passionate in the entire country. I look forward to building on the iconic fan experience already in place and continue to demonstrate to old and new fans why Richmond truly is America’s Premier Short Track.”
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Waran has ties to the Richmond area. She told NASCAR Media that she grew up helping her grandfather park cars ahead of races at the short track. Prior to landing this role as the track president, she served as Chief Revenue Officer and Associate Publisher at Virginia Business Magazine + Media. Waran also spent more than a decade as the general manager and publisher for Tribune Publishing and Landmark Media Enterprises’ Style Weekly, which calls Richmond its home.
Waran Joins a Prestigious List of Track Executives
With the new announcement, Waran is now part of an exclusive group. She is one of three women holding track leadership roles and making important decisions at historic NASCAR tracks.
Julie Giese, who serves as the track president at Phoenix Raceway, took over her role in October 2018. She was in charge when Kyle Busch won the playoff race in 2018, and she has continued to make key decisions in the subsequent years. This includes spearheading the efforts to host Phoenix’s first championship weekend during the COVID-altered 2020 season.
Similarly, Jill Gregory is the EVP and GM of Sonoma Raceway in northern California. She began her tenure at the track in February 2021 after working at NASCAR as an executive vice president and chief marketing and content officer, and she has been present for two wildly different Cup Series races while dealing with changing COVID protocols in California. She also helped bring back the Truck Series for the first time since 1998.
Waran Has a Short Turnaround Before a Big Event
The announcement is major for Richmond Raceway and NASCAR, in general. It also takes place with very little time remaining before an important race weekend featuring multiple national series.
Waran will take over as the track president on July 11. One month later, NASCAR will return to Richmond Raceway for two days of racing. The Camping World Truck Series drivers will compete on August 13 in what is the second race of the Round of 10 (8 p.m. ET, FS1).
One day later, the Cup Series drivers will make their return to the short track for a key regular-season race (3 p.m. ET, USA). There will be only three races remaining in the regular season by that point, providing precious few opportunities for drivers below the cutline to make moves, so the racing should only be more intense.