Scott and Laura Gardner Named to Executive Management Team at The New Heartland Park Topeka

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Topeka, March 30, 2016 – Heartland Park, LLC today announced Scott Gardner has been named President and General Manager of Heartland Park Topeka [HPT]. As President and General Manager, Gardner will have a position on the board of directors and will take responsibility for all of the facility’s motorsport venues. Laura Gardner will join the team as Director of Business Operations. The husband and wife team who have managed motorsports venues for over 20 years will begin their positions in April 2016.

As a 30 year veteran of the racing profession, Scott Gardner most recently served as scott-laura_gardner_1200pxPresident of the International Hot Rod Association. He began his racing career as Vice President and Marketing Director of the United Drag Racers Association from 1986 to 1993.  In 1994, he became General Manager of Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove, Wisconsin, a position he held for 2 years.  When the opportunity arose, he and his wife, Laura, purchased Cordova Dragway Park in Cordova, Illinois.  He was Manager of CDP until he became IHRA President in 2014.

Laura was Operations Manager at Cordova Dragway Park from 1995 to 2015.  After the Gardners sold the track to IRG Sports + Entertainment™ in 2015, Laura became Director of Human Resources for that company.

Under the Gardners’ leadership, Cordova Dragway Park grew in both racer and fan base with successful event concepts and implementation. “Being President of IHRA was a great opportunity to work with racers, track operators and sponsors that have led to many relationships that will last a lifetime,” said Scott.

Both Gardners are motivated in this next step in their careers. Scott commented, “Laura and I have received several management inquiries, but have been selective with our next step. The HPT ownership team’s commitment is extraordinary with an extensive background in the local business environment.”

The Gardners are prepared for the challenges ahead but are looking forward to a successful year for HPT. Scott continued, “We are essentially starting from the ground floor with a facility that was closed much of 2015.  The potential is off the scale with multiple racing venues and other opportunities for a motorsports complex of this magnitude.”

Laura noted, “Teamwork will be essential in creating an environment that thrives for our customer base; the racers, the fans and sponsors. It’s my goal to create a structure that is organized and efficient at HPT.” She is ready to hit the ground running to put together the best team to operate the complex. “As Director of Business Operations, I will use my skills and experience in building a high caliber team that is efficient and effective for HPT.”

Chris Payne, from Shelby Development, LLC, the new owners of Heartland Park Topeka said, “Co-owner, Todd Crossley and I are excited to be teaming up with such experienced and qualified individuals as Scott and Laura. We are confident turning over the control of Heartland Park and its multi-racing venues to the Gardners, allowing them to propel the facility to a much higher level of success.”

About Heartland Park Topeka
Heartland Park Topeka is a multi-purpose facility located in Topeka, Kansas. The facility opened in 1989 and features a championship NHRA sanctioned ¼ mile drag strip, a road course with 4 configurations and a 3/8 mile clay oval. Owners of the facility are Chris Payne and Todd Crossley of Shelby, LLC who purchased the facility in January of 2016. Weekly race programs begin in April with the NHRA Kansas Nationals on May 20-22 and the Manufacturers Series on October 21-23.

For more information, contact Jeff Lacina, Marketing & Communications Manager, The New Heartland Park Topeka, or call 785-861-7899.


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