Andy McWilliams, a staple of Talladega Superspeedway since 1996 who was named Vice President of Operations in November, is settling in nicely to his new role as preparations continue for the upcoming April tripleheader weekend featuring the GEICO 500.
And, to kick off 2019 – Talladega Superspeedway’s 50th Anniversary – his team has been bolstered with the hiring of Jason Payne, a transplant from Homestead-Miami Speedway (FL), as the Director of Operations, the position previously held by McWilliams.
As Vice President of Operations, McWilliams will manage the facility operations team which is in charge of maintenance of all facilities at the largest track in NASCAR, which includes nearly 3,000 acres of property. He will also oversee all aspects of fire and safety, security, parking and camping cleanup, as well as operations of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, and the Talladega Airport.
McWilliams, a native of Talladega, took the helm after his father, Mike, transitioned to Owner’s Superintendent of International Speedway Corporation’s (ISC) Design & Development team for Transformation – The Talladega Superspeedway Infield Project, which is underway and set for completion this October. Mike, who started at the 2.66-mile venue in 1992, will retire in November after the project’s conclusion.
“Andy worked closely with his father for a very long time, and learned a great deal from him which made for a smooth transition,” said Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch. “We are excited for Andy to lead the Ops team, as well as having Jason on board. He was already a part of the ISC (Talladega’s parent company) family, and brings extensive expertise from another successful track.”
Payne started out as Facility Manager for Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2011. In 2014, the South Florida native was promoted to Race Track Manager. Over the years, he has also traveled to many of ISC’s facilities during their NASCAR race weekends to provide assistance in their operations department.
Talladega Superspeedway’s upcoming spring race weekend is set for April 26-28, consisting of the GEICO 500 (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion Joey Logano is the race’s defending champion), Talladega 300 and the General Tire 200. For ticket information, visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 855-518-RACE (7223).
As part of Transformation – The Talladega Superspeedway Infield Project, the new Turn 3 Oversized Vehicle Tunnel as well as the new Finish Line Premium RV area (located just past the start-finish line & includes full hookups) and new Infield Shower Trailers are scheduled for completion in time for the much-anticipated weekend. The two-lane tunnel, the first development of Transformation, will be capable of allowing vehicles as large as race team haulers, fans’ recreational vehicles as well as track tram vehicles (to take fans who have both infield admission and grandstand seating) to enter and exit the track simultaneously with ease. It will be open 24 hours during event weekends.
Phase II of Transformation will occur after the spring tripleheader weekend with a one-of-a-kind Talladega Garage Experience, which will feature “up-close” access, interactive attractions and enhanced amenities for fans, sponsors, teams and stakeholders in the iconic Talladega infield. For more information on Transformation, visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com/transformation.