Dover International Speedway President and CEO Mike Tatoian is one of three finalists for the 2019 Comcast Community Champion of the Year award, which recognizes individuals in the NASCAR industry for their community service efforts.
The announcement was made Thursday, Oct. 17 on NBC Sports Network’s "NASCAR America." Tatoian’s fellow finalists are Artie Kempner, NASCAR on FOX coordinating director and co-founder of Autism Delaware and David Ragan, a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver and ambassador for Shriners Hospitals for Children.
The champion will be announced during NASCAR Championship Weekend in Miami in November.
Those eligible for the award include team owners, drivers, track employees, media members and NASCAR officials. In recognition of the champion’s efforts, a $60,000 contribution will be made to the charitable organization affiliated with the winner. Each remaining finalist receives $30,000 toward their charity of choice.
For Tatoian, the charity is USO Delaware.
Tatoian, the Monster Mile’s president since 2007, is just the second track president to be named a finalist for the award, and would be the first to win the honor.
"I am tremendously honored to be named a finalist for this award." Tatoian said. "More importantly, as chairman of the Advisory Council for USO Delaware, I am happy this will also shine a light on our amazing staff and volunteers, and all the great work they are doing for our service members and their families. Knowing the history of this award and the current group of finalists, past winners and nominees, it certainly demonstrates how much impact our entire industry has on our communities."
Tatoian is a member of the following organizations:
- Chairman of the Advisory Council for USO Delaware — active in the organization for 13 years.
- Serves on the United States Air Force Civic Leader Program.
- Numerous times an Honorary Commander at Dover (Del.) Air Force Base.
- Serves on Board of Directors of the Military Bowl Foundation, a college football bowl game played in the Washington, D.C. area, with proceeds going to USO and a 290-acre retreat for recovering service members.
- Serves on National Board of Advisors for the Devos Sport Business Management Program at the University of Central Florida for past five years.
Tatoian’s nomination included several testimonials from top military and civilian officials, including from Gen. David Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force.
"No one has more passion for our Airmen and has done more on their behalf than Mike," Goldfein said. "He’s increased national awareness and understanding of the Air Force’s role in our nation’s defense and helped build vitally important grassroots support for our service."
Previous winners of the Comcast Community Champion of the Year award include:
- 2018 - Joey Logano (Joey Logano Foundation)
- 2017 - Chip Ganassi Racing Pit Crew Department (Ronald McDonald House)
- 2016 - Wade Jackson, fabricator, JR Motorsports (Camp LUCK)
- 2015 - Joey Gase (Iowa Donor Network)
Previous finalists for the Comcast Community Champion of the Year award include:
- 2018 - Ryan Newman (Rescue Ranch); Steve Page, president, Sonoma Raceway (Speedway Children’s Charities Wildfire Relief Fund)
- 2017 - Jimmie Johnson (Jimmie Johnson Foundation); Brad Keselowski (Checkered Flag Foundation)
- 2016 - Samantha Busch (Bundle of Joy Fund); Ray Wright, RCR pit crew director (Pit Stops For Hope)
- 2015 - Martha Nemechek (Travis Manion Foundation); Martin Truex Jr. (Martin Truex Jr. Foundation)
More information on the 2019 Comcast Community Champion of the Year award can be found at comcastcommunitychampion.com. Since becoming the entitlement sponsor of the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2015, Comcast has donated $600,000 to 15 NASCAR-affiliated organizations to honor their efforts and help further the impact of their causes.
Dover International Speedway is hosting two NASCAR tripleheader weekends in 2020 on May 1-3 and Aug. 21-23, including two NASCAR Cup Series races on Sunday, May 3 and Sunday, Aug. 23.