HAMPTON – After more than four decades of service to the NASCAR industry, including the last 27 years at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Ed Clark will retire following the 2020 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.
The AMS president announced his retirement plans Monday morning and explained how fortunate he was to be able to be in the sport for 44 seasons.
“Well, I’ve gotten to do something, next year will be my 44th season full time. I even covered races in high school and college before I started full time professionally,” Clark said. “I’ve gotten to chase my dreams for all that time, and do something I truly wake up in the morning and love to do. Everybody should be that fortunate. Hopefully it’s shown through — if you’re passionate about something, it’s not like work, and that’s something it’s certainly been for me.”
Clark joined Speedway Motorsports in 1981 as a member of the public relations department at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He was promoted to director of public relations, and in 1987 was named the vice president of events at America’s Home for Racing.
In 1992, Speedway Motorsports executive chairman Bruton Smith tapped Clark to be the general manager of Atlanta Motor Speedway. He added the title of AMS president in 1995. Clark, 64, is the second-longest tenured employee at Speedway Motorsports, trailing only Smith, the company founder.
“We all have days where, yeah, it’s really work, but most days, it’s just been an absolute joy to get up and come to work. I’ve been lucky enough to work with and for some pretty amazing people,” Clark said. “The Smith family has been great to me, Bruton with his vision and Marcus is doing an amazing job carrying that on, and the staffs we’ve had at the Speedway through the years, the people that have worked there, and the drivers, the people that work in NASCAR, all of them are like family to me. I want to keep those ties and those contacts. I truly have been very lucky to get to know and work with all of those folks.”
During his early career at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Clark was a member of the leadership team that created the first NASCAR All-Star Race and NASCAR Media Tour. At Atlanta Motor Speedway, Clark supervised the expansive growth and modernization of the facility with the addition of luxury suites, condominiums and Club One hospitality, as well as a rebuild of the complex after much of it was destroyed by a tornado in 2005.
Most recently, Clark has spearheaded efforts to add more major events like the Imagine Music Festival, Georgia State Fair and U.S. Legend Car racing to the speedway’s annual calendar, increasing Atlanta Motor Speedway’s track rental business, brand awareness and regional economic impact.
In addition to his work at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Clark serves on the board of directors of Speedway Children’s Charities and the Flint River Scout Council.
Outside of racing, Clark’s interests include fishing and horticulture. He and his wife, Teresa, reside in Peachtree City.