SONOMA, Calif. (KTXL) — With the new year comes new leadership at Sonoma Raceway.
Outgoing executive vice president and general manager Steve Page retired last month, and his replacement was announced Tuesday.
Jill Gregory, who has been one of NASCAR’s award-winning executives over the years, will take over Feb. 1.
“When there was a chance to do what I love but also do it in a place that I love… I mean, we’ve got to figure out a way to make this happen,” she told FOX40.
As one of NASCAR’s top executives the past several years, as well as being named one of the most powerful women in sports the last two years by AdWeek, Gregory said she feels like she couldn’t have found a better fit for her next chapter.
“I’ve always had a soft-spot for Sonoma; I’ve always loved going back there and the opportunity to go back to California but also do it in a sport that I love and I’ve built my whole career was kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me,” said Gregory, who grew up in Modesto.
Gregory takes over the lead now at one of NASCAR’s most popular stops every June.
Her predecessor, Steve Page, is credited with building Sonoma’s state-of-the-art racing facility from its more primitive days.
“You know, there was nothing. We had nothing, no garages, no permanent grandstands — none of the professional amenities that you would associate with a big-time sports facility,” Page recalled.
But that was nearly 20 years ago.
“So now, it’s sort of going through that next phase of taking what you have that is really good and making sure it stays good,” Page continued.
Gregory added, “I think that’s really going to be the goal … to keep Sonoma top-of-mind as a destination and a show-piece in the Northern California region.”
As for the focus on the tracks, Gregory told FOX40 that adding another signature event may be a possibility.
“Nothing is out of bounds, I don’t think. So, if it makes sense to bring in another signature event, then we want to pursue that,” she said.
Gregory continued, “I mean, that’s a beautiful facility and we want as many people as we can to experience it and love it as much as we do, so I think that will be the goal.”
NASCAR’s stop in Sonoma this year is set for the weekend of June 6.