Herb Fishel named Grand Marshal for Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta
BRASELTON, GA (June 9, 2003) -- Herb Fishel, one of the most influential automotive executives in motorsports history, has been named Grand Marshal for the June 27-29 Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta, featuring the American Le Mans Series, at Road Atlanta.
Fishel, who will retire September 1 after 40 years with General Motors, has most recently been Executive Director of GM Racing. He is on special assignment to GM Service and Parts Operations until his retirement.
The Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta is a new race on the American Le Mans Series in 2003, and Road Atlanta is the only racing circuit to hold two events for the professional sports car racing series this season. The 2.54-mile track will also hold the season-ending Petit Le Mans Oct. 15-18.
General Motors, the world's largest vehicle manufacturer, has had a presence in the American Le Mans Series with its Corvette program from the beginning of the series in 1999. After learning the series for two years, the Corvette scored its first GTS win in September of 2000 and the familiar yellow machines have been regular podium fixtures ever since.
"Herb Fishel's influence has been greatly felt in the American Le Mans Series, and we are very pleased that he accepted our invitation to be Grand Marshal for the Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta," said Don Panoz, Founder of the American Le Mans Series and the owner of Road Atlanta. "It will be an honor to have him with us on race weekend."
Fishel entered the auto racing world in 1969, when he was assigned to the Chevrolet Product Performance Group. There, the North Carolina native would work with many of his childhood heroes like Smokey Yunick and Junior Johnson. Seven years later, Fishel became manager of Buick Motor Division's Special Products Engineering Group, where he was responsible for the Buick Regals driven by Darrell Waltrip and others in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.
After a brief stint as staff engineer for Buick's special programs in 1982, he returned to Chevrolet the following year and directed Chevrolet's Special Products, which later became the Chevrolet Raceshop. Fishel directed GM programs that won driver and manufacturer championships in most of North America's top pro racing series. They include six straight Indianapolis 500s (1988-93) with the Chevrolet Indy V8 engine and four straight with the Oldsmobile Aurora V8 (1997-2000); nine of 11 Daytona 500s; Chevrolet's unprecedented nine straight NASCAR Winston Cup manufacturer's titles (1983-91) and victories in the Baja 1000, 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring.
Tickets are on sale for the Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta and the Petit Le Mans. Road Atlanta is currently offering a special, discounted "Two Event Ticket," as well as separate tickets to both events. Information is available online at www.roadatlanta.com or by calling 1-800-849-RACE (7223).