Dover International Speedway President and CEO Mike Tatoian is the winner of 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, Nov. 14 at W. South Beach Hotel in Miami in conjunction with NASCAR Championship Weekend.
Tatoian was one of three finalists for the award. Artie Kempner, NASCAR on FOX coordinating director and co-founder of Austism Delaware and David Ragan, a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver and ambassador for Shriners Hospitals for Children were also finalists.
Those eligible for the award include NASCAR team owners, drivers, track employees, media members and NASCAR officials. In recognition of the champion’s efforts, a $60,000 contribution is 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.
On behalf of Tatoian’s efforts, Dover International Speedway is contributing an additional $10,000 to USO Delaware, bringing the total contribution to the organization to $70,000.
Tatoian, the Monster Mile’s president since 2007, is just the second track president to be named a finalist for the award, and the first to win the honor.
"This is a tremendous honor and I’m very thankful," Tatoian said. "This gives a great spotlight to the tremendous work USO Delaware’s staff and volunteers put in and how important their efforts are for our service members and their families. Our industry should be proud of the impact we are having on communities all across this nation."
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 Patriot Point; 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.