Ty Norris

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Ty Norris
Born (1965-07-19) July 19, 1965 (age 54)
NationalityAmerican
Alma materDelaware State University
OccupationMotorsports executive
OrganizationDale Earnhardt, Inc. (1996–2004)
Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (2004–2012)
Michael Waltrip Racing (2013–2015)
Spire Sports + Entertainment (2015–present)

Ty Norris (born July 19, 1965) is the President of Spire Sports + Entertainment and the former Executive Vice President of Business Development and General Manager of Michael Waltrip Racing.

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Norris started in NASCAR as a sports writer after studying journalism at Delaware State University. After covering several races for the Delaware State News, Norris left journalism for a job as the manager of media relations and event operations with RJ Reynolds in 1990.

Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (1996–2004)[edit]

Norris caught the attention of Dale Earnhardt as the 7-time champion began building his own organization Dale Earnhardt, Inc. In 1996, Earnhardt hired him to serve as executive vice president of motorsports for DEI. He played an integral role in helping the organization prepare for its entry into NASCAR's top level of competition in 1998. During the next 8 years, he, Earnhardt, and others helped build DEI into a motorsports juggernaut with the team winning 65 NASCAR races and 4 championships from 1996 to 2004.

Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (2004–2012)[edit]

In 2004, successful businessman Bruton Smith hired Norris to serve as the vice president of special projects for Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI). Norris oversaw the special projects associated with Smith's motorsports conglomerate, which features ownership of tracks in Atlanta, Georgia; Bristol, Tennessee, Charlotte, North Carolina; Las Vegas, Nevada; Fort Worth, Texas; and Sonoma, California; as well as of several industry-supporting companies, such as the Performance Racing Network (PRN), The Source International (QVC's motorsports merchandise partner), and SMI Properties.

Michael Waltrip Racing (2013–2015)[edit]

In 2013, Norris was involved in controversy after the Federated Auto Parts 400, where he was serving as spotter for Brian Vickers. After MWR driver Clint Bowyer spun out to force a caution, Norris directed Vickers to pit on the restart in order to help another MWR driver Martin Truex, Jr. win the tiebreaker for a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup with Ryan Newman. As it developed, Newman was pushed so far back in the pitting cycle that he lost several positions and ultimately finished third, not high enough to break the tie with Truex. On September 9, NASCAR decided to suspend Norris indefinitely, determining that his order to have Vickers pit was a deliberate attempt to manipulate the Chase standings. It also docked all three MWR teams 50 driver/owner points before all point totals were reset for the Chase—a move which knocked Truex, Jr. out of the Chase in favor of Newman. MWR was also fined a NASCAR-record $300,000.[1]

Departure from NASCAR[edit]

Following the incident at Richmond and the hefty fine that followed, NASCAR suspended Norris indefinitely from all competition. Norris was reinstated after ten races and soon returned to MWR.[2] He would act as a spotter for Vickers for a few races before transitioning to a public/sponsor relations position. However, MWR was never able to fully recover after the penalties and was eventually forced to close its doors in 2015.

Return to NASCAR team ownership[edit]

In late 2015, he joined marketing agency Spire Sports + Entertainment, eventually becoming president of the firm.[3][4] When Spire expanded to form a Cup team in 2018, they picked up Norris as the president of the new team.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NASCAR Penalizes Michael Waltrip Racing". NASCAR. 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2013-09-09.
  2. ^ Gluck, Jeff (January 23, 2014). "NASCAR reinstates MWR executive Ty Norris". USA Today. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  3. ^ Fenwick, Adam (December 11, 2015). "PRI NOTES: Elliott Foundation Honors Stockon". National Speed Sport News. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  4. ^ Long, Dustin (February 3, 2016). "New homes: Michael Waltrip Racing employees sprinkled throughout Sprint Cup garage". NBC Sports. Retrieved December 4, 2018.

External links[edit]