RIR has new president after Fritz resigns

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Just nine weeks before the fall race at Richmond International Raceway, the track has a new president. Doug Fritz resigned on Wednesday, and ISC has all ready announced his replacement.  International Speedway Corporation has chosen Dennis Bickmeier to replace Fritz as President of Richmond International Raceway effective immediately.

Bickmeier accepts the role from his most recent position as Vice President of Consumer Sales and Marketing for Michigan International Speedway ("MIS").  Fritz resigned to pursue other career opportunities.

Joining MIS in 2007, Bickmeier, 44, was responsible for the oversight of three primary departments -- communications, corporate partnership sales, and ticket sales and operations.  His career with ISC initially began in 1999 as the Public Relations Director at Auto Club Speedway, and he was promoted to Senior Director of Communications in 2004, a position he held until 2006.   During his time at the Southern California-based speedway, Bickmeier became an adjunct faculty member in the University of San Francisco's Sports Management Program (2001-06), teaching the Strategic Communications and Sports Public Relations elective.

Bickmeier served as the Manager of Community Relations for Disney-owned Anaheim Sports, Inc., (1997-99) the owners of the Major League Baseball team the Anaheim Angels, now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and the National Hockey League's Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.  He has also served as Information Director for the Big West Conference (1993-97), and started his professional sports administration career with the National Football League's Los Angeles Rams as the Assistant Director of Public Relations (1989-91) and Assistant Director of Sales and Promotions (1992-93).

The native Ohioan received his bachelor's degree from the Ohio University Scripps School of Journalism and his master's from the Ohio University Sports Administration Program.  Bickmeier will transition with his family to the Richmond area over the next few months.

In a release from the track, ISC's President John Saunders said, "Dennis is a well-respected sports management executive having spent his career working within motorsports as well as with other professional sport leagues. Having spent the past 10 years at two of ISC's motorsports facilities, he is well prepared to take the helm of Richmond International Raceway.  His proven management and leadership skills will facilitate a smooth transition from Michigan to Richmond.  We congratulate him on his new position and look forward to his continued success within ISC."

Commenting on the announcement in the same release, Dennis Bickmeier stated, "It has been a privilege and personally rewarding to be a part of Michigan International Speedway for the past three and half years.  While I will miss all the wonderful people at Michigan, I am excited to be joining Richmond International Raceway.  I am appreciative of this exciting opportunity and look forward to a great future with much enthusiasm."

On September 10th, RIR will host "One Last Race to Make the Chase." Fritz was in Daytona last Friday, announcing the track's marketing campaign "The Road To Richmond", which highlights each of the races before September 10th.

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