NASCAR announced several changes in its competition department Tuesday.
Key among them is the promotion of Camping World Truck Series director Wayne Auton to director of the Nationwide Series. Auton will replace Joe Balash, who has been named NASCAR’s International Competition Liaison.
Former driver Chad Little will replace Auton as director of the Truck Series. Little has been Whelen Modified Tour director and director of racing development.
Brad Moran, director of the Canadian Tire Series, will become director of NASCAR Touring Series.
The changes will take effect at the beginning of 2013.
John Darby apparently will remain as NASCAR managing director and Sprint Cup Series director.
Balash has been Nationwide Series director since 2004. In his new role, he will be the contact person for competition-related matters relative to the Toyota (Mexico) Series, the Canadian Tire Series, the Euro Racecar series and other international competition.
Auton has been director of the Truck Series since 1995.
“We recently completed a thorough, strategic review of all of our racing series and believe the changes we’re announcing today will further strengthen our overall racing and offer us the best opportunity for growth,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition.
“Joe (Balash) is terrific at building relationships with track operators, sponsors and other key stakeholders, and he will be an excellent fit in his new role. I’m also pleased our system allowed us to promote our talent up the ranks, as is the case with Wayne (Auton), Chad (Little) and Brad (Moran). I think this shows that we have a great deal of depth in our series director leadership roles and these moves reflect that depth and versatility.”
Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for SPEED.com and has been covering motorsports for 30 years. He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.