Southern National Motorsports Park has named Charlie Hansen as its general manager ahead of the 2018 season.
Hansen was with Southern National Motorsports Park when the track reopened in 2012 season and has been at Southern National in some capacity just about every season since. He has nearly two decades of experience in motorsports operations, serving at several tracks including Wake County Speedway, Clary’s Speedway, King’s Raceway and Fayetteville Motor Speedway.
“I am excited to return to Southern National,” Hansen said. “It is my goal to bring the overall appeal back to Southern National. I will concentrate on making sure every car owner, driver, sponsor and fan experience at Southern National is a great one. I promise, it will be the best place to race at in 2018.”
Southern National Motorsports Park track owner Michael Diaz appointed Hansen as general manager with the hopes of accomplishing goals the two originally set in 2012.
“I’m glad to have Charlie back as general manager,” Diaz said. “We have some unfinished business to take care of at Southern National since our separation as him being general manager in 2012. A lot of things were planned on that we never had a chance to accomplish, and accomplishing those things will be our focus. He puts 150 percent into what he puts his mind into and does a great job accomplishing the things we talk about at Southern National.”
Despite not being the general manager since 2012, Hansen has worked at Southern National and put together a variety of events, including last year’s Day of Destruction.
“He was the complete mastermind for our first Demolition Derby last year and that was the first Southern National event ever held that I was not there for and it was a huge success. I look forward to more events like that in 2018 and the future with Charlie back at the helm. He’s already making changes and getting racers excited about the 2018 season.”
Among the changes already made is the reinstatement of the Charger division, the return of the Day of Destruction and Monster Truck show and a common rules package with other tracks and series. In addition to the already made changes, Hansen is also working on track loyalty incentive packages, enhanced payouts and lower racing fees.
Common rule packages that have already been adopted are the Carolina Mini-Stock Challenge rules for the Mini-Stock class and the Southeast Limited Late Model Series rules for the Limited Late Model division.
In addition to the appointment of Hansen as general manager, Mason Diaz will hang his helmet up at Southern National and become assistant manager of operations at Southern National while he continues his racing career traveling to other tracks and competing in prestigious SLM & PLM touring events up and down the east coast.
“I am excited to have Mason on the track operations side of pit wall,” Hansen remarked. “He has always been a big part of the operations at Southern National over the years. This will allow Michael Diaz to concentrate on his family business and enjoy being at the track as the track owner.”
Last season, Mason Diaz won the track championship in the Late Model Stock Car division at Southern National Motorsports Park and also made his first career start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
“I’m looking forward to helping out and being part of the team,” Mason Diaz commented. “I’ve always helped out but that wasn’t my main focus. Racing was my main focus for the past six years.”
The elder Diaz said bringing Mason on board in the management side would help bring younger people to the track.
“I think Mason taking off his helmet at Southern National and putting on the administrative hat will be a huge benefit to Southern National this season,” Diaz explained. “As hard as it will be for me to not see him race at Southern National, he understands that a lot of racers, in the back of their minds, will always think that there is some sort of advantage being given to him here.
“I owed him a season to run Division I at his home track and we were blessed enough for him to take home the track championship and rookie of the year honors.”
“Now we can travel a little with his racing where he can gain knowledge from the different tracks we race at and the competitors he races against. Seat time is what he is looking for. He still has a lot to learn but I think we are off to a great start.”
Diaz continued to discuss the role of his son, Mason, noting that his role at the track would allow the family to still spend time together before the fall.
“He can also focus his talents on helping Charlie fill some of the gaps that we have on the pit side of operations this season,” Diaz elaborated. “I’m still just as excited to spend as much time as I can with him before he heads off to Old Dominion University in the fall for his freshman year of college and I think he can bridge the gap that we have with getting young people involved with racetrack operations as well.”
The 2018 season at Southern National Motorsports Park will commence on Saturday, March 3rd.
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