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NASCAR VP Steve O’Donnell to attend American SpeedFest III

Thursday, April 30 2015

NASCAR's Executive Vice-President, Steve O'Donnell, will attend American SpeedFest III at Brands Hatch on Sunday 7 June.

O'Donnell is a member of NASCAR's senior executive leadership, serving Vice Chairman of NASCAR Mike Helton, and heads up the organisation's Research and Development Centre at Concord in Charlotte, North Carolina. From there, the New Jersey native acts as NASCAR's Chief Racing Development Officer, to improve the sport as a spectacle, and regarding driver safety.

Charlotte is very much a central hub for NASCAR, and it's from here that O'Donnell is able to maintain a strong relationship with the competitors in the world-famous Sprint Cup. O'Donnell frequently has direct dealings with drivers such as Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr and team bosses including Roger Penske and Gene Haas.

For SpeedFest weekend, O'Donnell will switch his focus from the Sprint Cup at Pennsylvania's Pocono Raceway, to the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) - the only NASCAR-sanctioned championship operating outside of North America - which heads to Brands Hatch for one of the marquee events of its season.

The NWES has expanded since the inaugural American SpeedFest in 2013, which was attended by O'Donnell's colleague George Silbermann, with the grid now including former single-seater and sports car racers with an eye on stock car success. Some drivers have already dipped their toe in the waters of the US NASCAR arena, with reigning NWES Champion Anthony Kumpen appearing in this season's K&N Pro Series East.

The event itself has grown too, attracting bigger and better off-track entertainment than ever before, and it's this blend which has sparked O'Donnell's personal interest.

O'Donnell commented: "American SpeedFest is a tremendous opportunity for our European fans to experience NASCAR racing at its best. I'm looking forward to attending this year. The door-to-door racing of NASCAR's Whelen Euro Series on the world-famous Brands Hatch road course has become a premiere event on the European racing calendar."

Jerome Galpin, President of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series added: "The Brands Hatch American SpeedFest is one of the highlights of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season, presenting a unique package of action and family fun. Every team and driver is happy to meet the enthusiastic British fans and share the passion for racing with them. We are very proud to welcome Steve O'Donnell to this event. His presence demonstrates the great support NASCAR is offering to make this Series one of the best in Europe."

Brands Hatch Motorsport Events Manager David Willey said: "We've been working hard, in conjunction with Jerome and everyone involved in the NWES, to improve our American SpeedFest every year. I think it's a great testament to the terrific work done by the Brands Hatch team that NASCAR's Executive Vice President will be attending this year and I'm sure that he will be impressed by the spectacle both on and off the track."

Tickets for American SpeedFest III are available online for £21 in advance, with a discounted £12 race available for 13-15-year-olds, and free entry for under-13s. For more information please call 0843 453 9000 or click here.