NASCAR

Siegel to lead NASCAR Drive for Diversity program

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Lee Spencer

Lee Spencer is the Senior NASCAR Writer for FOXSports.com. She has provided award-winning coverage of auto racing over the last 15 years. Spencer has lent her expertise to both television and radio and is a regular contributor to SiriusXM Radio and the Performance Racing Network. Follow her on Twitter.

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Max Siegel announced Wednesday that he will leave Dale Earnhardt Inc. to partner with NASCAR in broader industry initiatives, beginning with the Drive for Diversity program. Siegel, 44, will manage NASCAR's diversity program through his new sports and entertainment marketing company, The 909 Group, LLC. He also will continue to work with Dale Earnhardt Inc. and other sports and entertainment clients through his affiliation with the law firm Baker & Daniels, LLP. Drive for Diversity was established in 2004 to provide opportunities for minorities and females to compete in NASCAR. NASCAR has enlisted Siegel, the top-ranking black executive in NASCAR, to expand the program's reach, increasing the involvement of everyone in the sport, especially top-tier teams and sponsors. "NASCAR is an incredible sport," Siegel said. "For years the Gibbs organization, Mr. Rick Hendrick and Jay Frye were all supportive of (former Green Bay Packer) Reggie White and I becoming members of the NASCAR community and growing its fan base and participants as broadly as possible. "In order to accomplish this I felt it was necessary to pay my dues, learn the sport and gain the respect from those in the industry. Certainly, working with Dale Earnhardt Incorporated has given me the opportunity to learn the sport from the business level." For the past two years, Siegel has served as President of Global Operations for DEI. He was the catalyst for and oversaw the merger with Chip Ganassi's team late last season. Siegel also initiated an engine-development joint venture with Richard Childress Racing to form Earnhardt-Childress Racing. That partnership cut costs and improved reliability. Before the formation of ECR, DEI's No. 1, 8 and 15 teams experienced 10 engine failures in 2007. In 2008, that number was reduced to a mere two failures for those three teams. Siegel orchestrated DEI's acquisition of Ginn Racing, which enabled the company to grow from three teams to four and provided owner points for the No. 15 team. The move allowed DEI to gain Ginn's 200,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art building and updated technological resources. Siegel also was instrumental in renewing the relationship between Childress and Teresa Earnhardt, particularly concerning the marketing rights of the No. 3. And though it wasn't part of his job description, Siegel also worked at improving Mrs. Earnhardt's image throughout the drama surrounding the estrangement of the owner and her stepson driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., in 2007. Prior to joining DEI, the Notre Dame grad spent time working as an executive at Sony BMG Music Entertainment.
Tagged: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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