The sport’s most visible leader at the race track, Mike Helton was named Vice Chairman of NASCAR in February 2015.
Helton had served as NASCAR president since 2000 and has been with the sanctioning body in various roles since joining it in 1994 as vice president of competition. In February 1999, Helton assumed the role of senior vice president and chief operating officer, becoming the first person outside the France family to take over the day-to-day operations of NASCAR.
He serves as a member of NASCAR’s Board of Directors and is also a member of the company’s Executive Council.
After becoming only the third president in the sport’s history, Helton cemented NASCAR’s presence in major markets within the United States, as well as Mexico, Canada and Europe.
His expertise in competition directly led to the formation of the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina. Dedicated to strengthening NASCAR’s competition and safety initiatives, it is the first R&D center owned and operated by a sanctioning body of a major motorsports series.
In addition to his role as a member of NASCAR’s Board of Directors, Helton maintains a similar role with The NASCAR Foundation, NASCAR’s charitable arm that seeks to raise funds and increase volunteerism to support nonprofit charities and charitable causes throughout the nation.
Born and raised in Bristol, Virginia, Helton’s motorsports experience is multi-faceted. In addition to working for NASCAR, he has also been a track operator at both Atlanta Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway and even raced a little himself.
Helton and his wife, Lynda, reside in Ormond Beach, Florida.