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LMS executive Wilks resigns
Lauri Wilks, executive vice president of management and administration at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and vice president of communications for Speedway Motorsports Inc., resigned those positions Tuesday.

Wilks, who had been with the track and SMI since 1993, said she wants to take a break from her career in motorsports to spend time with her family.

“For the time being it’s about being a mom,” said Wilks, who along with her husband, Whit, has two sons, ages 8 and 6. “I am going to drive the car pool and bake cakes and do things like that.” Wilks, who in March was named the 2007 Charlotte businesswoman of the year, began her career as a summer intern working in the credentials office at Michigan Speedway, where her mother worked. She also did an internship at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and after earning her law degree from Wake Forest joined the Charlotte track’s events staff and was then promoted to general counsel.

She helped form Speedway Motorsports Inc. and take it public in 1995 and worked in investor relations and as corporate secretary for that company. She became part of the track’s management team in 2005 and was promoted to the job she is leaving in late 2007.

“I love racing, I love the industry,” she said, “I’ve been working at the track since I was a teen-ager. I’ve had a great career.” When asked if she might resume her career at some point Wilks said, “We’ll see what happens.”

Wilks departure is another major change in the management structure of Lowe’s Motor Speedway and Speedway Motorsports in what has been an eventful year. Track president and general manager H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler retired in May, saying he was not doing so entirely on his own schedule and terms. Roger Slack, vice president for events and a Wheeler protégé, left the track in August.

“Change breeds change,” Wilks said. “I’ve enjoyed the time that I’ve been here. I learned a lot working with (SMI chairman) Bruton (Smith) and it’s just time for to do something different.”

[Editor's Note: ....or is the real story - did heads roll because ticket sales were so poor for last Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup race that the huge numbers of empty seats was an embarrassment to both the track and to NASCAR?]

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