Distinguished motorsports business veteran Brian Flynn has been named the new Executive Vice President and General Manager at Sonoma Raceway. Speedway Motorsports President and Chief Executive Officer Marcus Smith made the announcement Wednesday.
With 30 years of senior motorsports and business management experience, Flynn will serve for the first time as a sports venue executive after consulting for 18 months with Sonoma Raceway on its high-performance driving, karting and hospitality experiences.
“Brian Flynn is an expert in so many aspects of the motorsports entertainment business,” said Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith. “His familiarity with Sonoma Raceway and relationships across race teams, sponsors and industry executives make him the perfect fit to continue building on what Jill (Gregory) and the Sonoma team have created in the past two-and-a-half years.”
“Sonoma Raceway is one of the premiere motorsports venues not only on the West Coast but in the country,” Flynn stated. “To work with Marcus and the talented team at Speedway Motorsports and Sonoma Raceway will continue to be a dream come true. I look forward to searching for new event opportunities and engaging our teammates to continue growing Sonoma’s position across the motorsports entertainment and driving experience landscape.”
“In the past two-and-a-half years, Sonoma Raceway has navigated a successful return to NASCAR and NHRA event production following the pandemic; completed the launch of our first-class Turn 11 hospitality and special event venue; and developed partnerships with Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari Challenge and the Skip Barber Racing School,” Smith added. “We are very grateful for the hard work put forth by Jill Gregory and our Sonoma team to accomplish so much in a relatively short period of time.
“We look forward to working with Jill and her new company on strategic projects across our business. With her support, we will further amplify our position as a Northern California tourism destination while Brian expands our business, operations and special event calendar alongside our team at Sonoma Raceway.”
“I’m so thankful that Marcus gave me the opportunity to come home and lead growth opportunities at the race track where I first became a race fan growing up,” said Gregory. “I’ve enjoyed working day-to-day with the talented Sonoma Raceway staff and am thankful for their dedication and willingness to move in new directions.
“I now look forward to a new consultancy relationship with Marcus and Brian to continue growing Sonoma Raceway as an experience-based tourism destination while also supporting Speedway Motorsports in other business aspects.”
Since 2018, Flynn has served as CEO of Marty Snider and Associates, a video production company based in Charlotte that specializes in marketing, commercial and public relations projects for clients such as NBC Sports, Smithfield Foods and FedEx. During the past four years he has also served as a management consultant with Thorsport Racing, Zero1 Off Road and Speedway Motorsports.
From 1996 to 2008, Flynn served in various capacities including general manager, chief operating officer and president of the Richard Petty Driving Experience. During Flynn’s tenure, RPDE became the largest consumer operator of stock car riding and driving experiences in the world. From 2009 until 2018, Flynn served as CEO of Petty Holdings LLC, which included RPDE and Petty Enterprises where Flynn served as president of the NASCAR race team from 2000-2005. As CEO, Flynn also managed private investment partnership opportunities for the company as well as Richard Petty’s intellectual property rights. He served for 15 years as a founding board member of the Victory Junction Gang Camp, an 84-acre complex that provides camp experiences for children with serious medical conditions.
Before joining the Petty operations, Flynn led the NASCAR race team of Diamond Ridge Motorsports as president and COO from 1993 until 1996.
Flynn earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania where he was a two-sport varsity athlete in football and baseball and is a member of the Penn Baseball Hall of Fame. He and his wife, Lisa, have five adult children and are planning a permanent move to the Sonoma area this fall.
— Speedway Motorsports —