Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch was presented with the coveted Joe Littlejohn Award at the 2014 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) convention in Concord, North Carolina, over the weekend. The award is given out each year in recognition of outstanding service to the NMPA.
Lynch joined the Talladega Superspeedway staff in January of 1993 as General Manager and was promoted to Vice President of International Speedway Corporation (ISC) and President of Talladega Superspeedway in November of the same year. While with ISC, Lynch has worked in various capacities, including overseeing the development of Kansas Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway, but has always lived in Talladega. Since 2009, he has been Chairman of NASCAR’s Most Competitive track.
“I am honored and humbled to be presented with the Joe Littlejohn Award by the NMPA, an association that does amazing work for the preservation and continuance of motorsports,” said Lynch. “I have worked in the industry for a long time and to receive an honor like this really puts things into perspective. I learned so much about our sport from the likes of NASCAR’s Bill France, Jr. and Jim Hunter, as well as R.J. Reynolds’ T. Wayne Robertson and Ralph Seagraves—who have all had a huge impact on the NMPA.
“Over the years at Talladega, we have had some of the best public relations and communications people in all of sports and entertainment. I am just an extension of them and our incredible racetrack. Helping the media is something I’ve loved doing since the beginning of my career.”
Lynch came to Talladega Superspeedway after 11 years with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. where, in his last post as senior manager of operations and public relations, he managed the company’s involvement in NASCAR Winston Cup (today known as the Sprint Cup Series) racing. His career there spanned back to 1982, when he joined RJR Special Events as a Camel GT Series show car driver.
The award’s namesake, Joe Littlejohn, was one of the great promoters in the early days of stock car racing. After racing in the 1930s and ‘40s and being the first man to post 100 mph in a stock car on the sand at Daytona Beach, Florida, Littlejohn worked with NASCAR’s founder Bill France Sr. to establish the site for Talladega Superspeedway. Always willing to assist the media, drivers and owners in the sport of NASCAR, Littlejohn organized the National Motorsports Press Association. He died a legend in the sport at the age of 81 in 1989.