NASCAR enhances competition department with promotion of Elton Sawyer, Scott Miller

NASCAR kicks off the 2023 season with changes to its competition team.

Elton Sawyer will replace Scott Miller as Senior Vice President of Competition.

Miller, who joined NASCAR in 2015 following an illustrious career on the team side, moves into the newly created position of Competition Strategist.

“Elton Sawyer has shown incredible versatility throughout his four-plus decades in motorsports,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Chief Operating Officer. “Following his lengthy driving career, Elton held key leadership positions for several race teams and here at NASCAR for the last eight seasons. He will excel in this role, and we look forward to watching him continue to grow the Competition team during this crucial era in our sport’s history.

Sawyer honed his racing skills at Langley (Va.) Speedway. The 63-year-old Chesapeake, Va.-native competed for two decades on the NASCAR Xfinity Series tour where he scored two wins and finished a career-best fifth in the standings three times. Sawyer is also credited with 29 Cup starts.

Before joining NASCAR in February of 2015 as managing director for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Sawyer oversaw team operations for IMSA’s Action Express Racing. He contributed to the competition departments of both Red Bull Racing and Evermham Motorsports. Sawyer also served as crew chief of the No. 6 Dodge in 2005.

“I have been a proud member of this extraordinary team for eight years, and I look forward to continuing to help grow the outstanding competition we’ve seen over the last several seasons,” Sawyer said. “NASCAR racing has been my life for decades. I have a deep passion for the sport, and am honored to be in a position to help shepherd the Competition team during these exciting times.”

Since 2016, as NASCAR vice president, Sawyer oversaw technical inspection and officiating, race event management, transportation and NASCAR official training and development. His new role will encompass all aspects of on-track competition, inspection, rule development and officiating, focusing specifically on NASCAR’s three national series—the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series.

Miller, who joined NASCAR in 2015 following an illustrious career on the team side, moves into the newly created position of Competition Strategist.

“We are thrilled that Scott Miller has chosen to remain a key part of the NASCAR Competition team. When he joined NASCAR in 2016, Scott lent immediate credibility to the position. A trusted voice in the garage, Scott used his decades of experience to lead our Competition team to new heights during a time that saw a new race format, a new playoff format and a new race car. The mark he leaves on the organization is significant.”

Additional promotions in NASCAR competition department include: John Probst, who has been promoted to NASCAR Chief Racing Development Officer; Dr. Eric Jacuzzi has been promoted to NASCAR Vice President, Vehicle Performance; Dr. John Patalak has been promoted to NASCAR Vice President, Safety Engineering; and Brandon Thomas has been promoted to NASCAR Vice President, Vehicle Design.

“John Probst’s leadership and tireless devotion in the development of the Next Gen car over the last three years has been extraordinary,” added O’Donnell. “This project was among the most challenging and important endeavors in NASCAR history, and leaders like Probst, Dr. Eric Jacuzzi, Dr. John Patalak, Brandon Thomas and many others worked incredibly hard to not only put this car on the race track, but to make it a success for our industry and our fans.”

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