NASCAR has named Richard Buck, a NASCAR executive with a wealth of diverse experience in motorsports, as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series managing director. Buck will serve in the role held the past 12 years by John Darby, who will remain at NASCAR as managing director, competition. Buck and NASCAR’s two other national series managing directors—Wayne Auton (NASCAR Nationwide Series) and Chad Little (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series)—now will report directly to Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president, competition and racing development.
Buck currently serves as vice president, racing operations for the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), a role he will maintain through the 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona (Jan. 25-26), at which time he will assume his new position. In addition to his role with IMSA, Buck has been serving as the managing director of NASCAR’s Touring Series, the all-important grassroots racing program that has developed numerous top-flight NASCAR drivers over the years.
”Richard Buck has demonstrated a deep and unique knowledge of motorsports, and his versatility and innovative approach to competition should serve the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage extremely well,” said Mike Helton, NASCAR president. “His wide range of expertise will be of great benefit to our premier series. NASCAR is in the midst of exciting change in the Competition area, and Buck will be instrumental in providing us with fresh insights and implementing many of the changes in the years ahead.”
A native of Phoenix, Buck worked from 1980-2000 as a crew chief, team manager and director of operations with open-wheel racing teams. As a crew chief, he is a multiple-time winner of the Indianapolis 500. Prior to joining NASCAR in January 2005, Buck worked with teams in all three NASCAR national series.
“I’m eager and ready to pursue this unique opportunity to serve as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series managing director,” said Buck. “I appreciate the faith that NASCAR’s management team has entrusted in me for this role. As we prepare to launch the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, I’m thrilled to expand my role in the sport of NASCAR, and I look forward to helping the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition team continue to produce the best racing in the world.”
Buck will maintain his current role as IMSA prepares to hold the 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona during the inaugural TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season. With his pending departure, IMSA will realign its competition structure, with Scot Elkins, IMSA vice president, competition and technical regulations, to work even more closely with NASCAR’s top executives in racing, including Steve O’Donnell, executive vice president, racing operations; Gene Stefanyshyn, vice president, innovation and racing development; and Pemberton. They will form a joint NASCAR / IMSA Competition Committee to meet routinely to share ideas, best practices and resources on innovation and development regarding the two different types of racing.
Additionally, as Buck has been serving as NASCAR’s managing director of its Touring Series, he will relinquish that role and NASCAR will promote Brad Moran to that position. Moran has been serving as the Touring Series director.
Darby will retain responsibilities as managing director, competition, helping to transition the NASCAR Competition model as it evolves to incorporate more technology and innovation originating at the NASCAR Research & Development Center. Over the past 12 years, Darby has been an instrumental part of a significant number of enhancements for NASCAR, including the introduction last year of the Gen-6 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car and an innovative laser inspection process.