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Brashears join SBS in leadership roles

SoVaNow.com / January 28, 2021
A husband-wife team with experience in NASCAR racing has joined the South Boston Speedway staff to help lead the historic speedway into the future.

Chase and Carly Brashears will serve as assistant general manager and assistant office manager respectively through the 2021 season. Chase will become the speedway’s general manager in 2022, with his wife, Carly, becoming the track’s office manager, which will include involvement in marketing, sales and digital platforms.

The Brashears will be working alongside South Boston Speedway General Manager Cathy Rice and Office Manager Helen Barksdale throughout the 2021 season learning the speedway’s operations.

“I’m very excited about this opportunity to come to South Boston Speedway,” said Chase.

“South Boston Speedway is a nationwide, if not internationally known name in short track racing. It’s a huge honor to have the opportunity to lead the speedway. I’m very thankful to the Mattioli and Igdalsky families, everybody at Pocono Raceway and everybody here at South Boston Speedway to have this unusual and awesome opportunity, and I thank God for placing me here to be able to work alongside my wife, who will be my right hand as we go along through this.

“Cathy Rice, Nick Igdalsky and the entire Pocono Raceway family have done a tremendous job here,” he said.

“It’s something that we’re going to continue to build on in the future. We want to take this place and continue to grow it, grow with the community and continue to have a successful program and events.”

“This opportunity came knocking at a perfect time,” said Carly.

“We are really excited to be here. Chase and I have always said we want to get back to our short track roots. We’ve been involved in racing for a number of years. It’s in our blood, and we’ve always wanted to get back where it all began, so an opportunity at South Boston Speedway is amazing.

“We felt very fortunate to be thought of,” she added.

“We really thought we could come to the table, bring a lot of ideas and hopefully watch this track continue to grow and live its legacy.”

South Boston Speedway CEO Igdalsky said the Brashears are a good fit for the speedway.

“It is rare to find just one person with the experience, reputation and passion needed to oversee a historic racing venue like South Boston Speedway,” Igdalsky said.

“We believe we have found not only one, but two, in the husband-and-wife team of Chase and Carly Brashears. Both Chase and Carly bring with them a tremendous level of racing knowledge and experience from their previous positions with NASCAR and with several nationally known short tracks. The future of South Boston Speedway looks as bright as ever, and I am excited to see how Chase and Carly’s vision takes shape over the next few years.”

Rice says she welcomes the couple into the South Boston Speedway family.

“We are very fortunate to have Chase to fill this position and his wife, Carly, that will be filling the assistant office manager position,” Rice.

“I am glad we have somebody that will be stepping in that is younger that can be here many years.”

A native of Kentucky, Chase comes to South Boston Speedway from NASCAR’s competition division where he has served as one of NASCAR’s three national race directors. After graduating from East Tennessee State University in 2017, he was hired by NASCAR to work in touring and weekly series racing operations, planning marketing events and traveling to grassroots racetracks across North America.

He was moved to NASCAR’s competition division in 2019 and became one of NASCAR’s three national series race directors. In June 2019 he directed his first race at Michigan International Speedway, becoming the youngest person to direct a national series race at age 23.

Chase has worked in various capacities at Lonesome Pine Raceway in Coeburn, Kingsport (Tennessee) Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway including competition, marketing, public relations and working with website and social/digital platforms.

Tennessee native Carly comes to South Boston Speedway with a strong background in marketing, sales and digital platforms. She served as a member of NASCAR’s event marketing team for the past two years. In that role she was a liaison for NASCAR-sanctioned national series tracks, assisting all tracks in promoting their event weekends, driver appearances and industry meetings such as driver/crew chief meetings, pre-race festivities and victory lane celebrations.

In 2018-2019 she joined The NASCAR Foundation as coordinator, directing the foundation’s relaunch of their grassroots racing initiatives and assisting in foundation marketing initiatives and events. That work included working in a variety of aspects connected with annual Humanitarian Award processes. Among them were outreach initiatives, website design, social media takeovers and brand management across all mediums.

Prior to that, Carly created and managed social and digital platforms at Kingsport Speedway and managed marketing and public relations for both Kingsport and Lonesome Pine Raceway. In 2018 she served as director of marketing and sales at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

The couple point out that 2021 will be a learning year, and they are grateful to have Rice to help them learn and transition into leadership roles in 2022.

“We’ve got the privilege of Cathy sticking around with us for the full season before she slows down,” Chase said.

“It’s quite a big advantage, and it’s an unusual advantage for somebody in this situation when you’ve got an outgoing individual and an incoming individual in a general manager role. Having Cathy here to walk hand-in-hand with us is going to be quite the advantage because we can use that to learn the community, grow with the community and take Cathy’s contacts hand-in-hand day-by-day and run with that and use all of that. We’re not having to write our own playbook, so to speak.

“Another good thing is Cathy is still going to be around in 2022, as she is going to do some consulting work for us,” he said.

“This year is a good year for myself and Chase to step in and see how South Boston Speedway has been run for the past 30-plus years, see where we can fit in and help this year and learn as much as we can,”Carly said.

“This year I will be seeing and learning all of the things Helen Barksdale has seen throughout the years. That is a heavy load, and I am happy to help lighten her load this year and help where I can.”

The Brashears have experience in tackling the various tasks involved in operating a speedway but need to learn the system of operations at South Boston Speedway.

“It’s all stuff that we have done before,” Carly said, “but each track has its own unique aspects as to how they do things. We are happy to learn the South Boston way and see if we can enhance it.”

The Brashears feel South Boston Speedway has a bright future ahead and they look forward to helping move the speedway forward.

“We have a lot of neat ideas and a few things we want to try as we go through and grow the racetrack,” Chase said.

Increasing family involvement is among the future goals.

“We have some ideas swirling around in our heads to make it fun for all of the families, maybe getting kids involved in extra things,” said Carly. “I come from a place where I like to do as much youth activation as possible. They are our next generation of race fans, and we want to get them involved in racing. It’s all about the fans and the community.”

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