Mike McWilliams, a constant fixture at Talladega Superspeedway since 1992 and the current Vice President of Operations, will make the transition later this year to Owner’s Superintendent of International Speedway Corporation’s (ISC) Design & Development team in anticipation of Transformation – The Talladega Superspeedway Infield Project, which is set for completion in October of 2019.
McWilliams’ facility operations team is in charge of maintenance of all facilities at the mammoth 2.66-mile venue, which includes nearly 3,000 acres of property – the largest in all of NASCAR. In addition, McWilliams oversees all aspects of fire and safety, security, parking and camping cleanup, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame operations, as well as the Talladega Airport operation.
McWilliams will continue those duties through the track’s upcoming NASCAR weekend doubleheader (Oct. 12-14) before moving to his new role. At the time of his transition, his son, Andy McWilliams, the current Director of Operations who has been a staple of the track since 1996, will take the helm.
“Mike has been an integral part of the success that Talladega Superspeedway has experienced since he arrived,” said Grant Lynch, Chairman of NASCAR’s Most Competitive track that will also celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 2019. “We can’t thank him enough for his dedication to the track. He knows this place better than anyone so having him join the ISC Design & Development team that will be responsible for our incredible new Transformation project for our fans will be pivotal.”
The approximate $50 million Transformation redevelopment (www.talladegasuperspeedway.com/transformation) endeavor is part of ISC’s (parent company of Talladega Superspeedway) long-term capital allocation plan and reinvestment into its major motorsports complexes. The project is highlighted by a one-of-a-kind Garage Fan Zone Experience (140,000 square foot of social and engagement areas) that will feature “up-close” fan access to the drivers and teams, interactive attractions, Wi-Fi, a 35,000-square foot covered Open Air Club, complete with 41-foot diagonal video screens, a new Gatorade Victory Lane, a Pit Road Paddock Club, and enhanced amenities in the iconic Talladega infield. In addition, there will be more than 300 new RV spaces configured inside the track.
The low-keyed McWilliams will assist with the construction process of Transformation and will retire in November 2019 after the project’s conclusion. For his past 26 years, he gives all the credit to his team that works behind-the-scenes to keep the property in tip-top shape.
“I love this place and have always taken pride in everything we have done to better it,” said a modest McWilliams. “I guess you could say I’m the inspector. As far as the work, the guys and gals here take a lot of pride, too, just like me. They would fight you about this race track. It truly is a team effort. They are all good people and I am going to miss them.
”I am really excited about the opportunity to work with the ISC Design & Development team for Transformation. I have been a part of construction efforts in the past but this is going to be the grandest of all, and shape this place for the future. I can’t wait to get started and help produce something that is going to be incredible for fans.”
In a way, McWilliams has come full circle, no pun intended. A native of Talladega County, he graduated from Munford High School and actually worked in construction with his father before forming a construction company with Andy McWilliams. Prior to joining the track, he worked at the Talladega Airport, and currently serves on the Airport Board.
The Speedway will host its fall 2018 weekend with a NASCAR Playoff doubleheader, featuring the 1000Bulbs.com 500 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday, Oct. 14, while the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series takes to the track for the Talladega 250 the day before on Saturday, Oct. 13.