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CONCORD, N.C. (AP) - Former General Motors executive Brent Dewar was hired as chief operating officer of NASCAR on Wednesday.

NASCAR also promoted chief marketing officer Steve Phelps and senior vice president of racing operations Steve O'Donnell to executive vice presidents. NASCAR general counsel Gary Crotty was elevated to chief legal officer.

The executive leadership restructuring reflects NASCAR chairman Brian France's effort to accelerate progress on changes in competition and research and development.

Dewar has been consulting with NASCAR for the past year. His addition to the executive group will balance the responsibility and allow France to focus on setting the vision for NASCAR.

"In Brent Dewar, we will add a seasoned leader with deep experience in the automotive sector, plus intimate knowledge of and passion for NASCAR as well as various other forms of motorsports," France said. "Brent brings creativity, drive, intelligence, operational acumen and a clear understanding of our assets and challenges to NASCAR.

"He's a leader who's naturally collaborative, an essential trait as we work more closely with the OEMs, teams, tracks, broadcast partners and others to grow the sport over the next decade."

Dewar most recently has held senior consulting roles at several firms. He previously spent nearly three decades with General Motors and his final assignment was senior vice president of Global Chevrolet, responsible for leading GM's volume brand across four regions and 130 markets.

"Working closely with NASCAR over the last year I've been very impressed by Brian's vision for NASCAR's future and the talented people he has put in place to achieve that vision," said Dewar. "I have great passion for racing and I look forward to adding my experience, ideas and relationships throughout racing to help the team drive NASCAR's growth and position it for a bright future."


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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