By Tim Packman

BROOKLYN, Mich. (Dec. 12, 2000) Gene Haskett, president of Michigan International Speedway, is stepping down after 14 years at the 2-mile oval.

Haskett, whose resignation is effective Jan. 5, said he is leaving to pursue another motorsports opportunity. He did not elaborate but said he will remain as a "consultant as needed" by the track.

No successor was immediately named.

Haskett began his motorsports career in 1983 as the general manager of the Cleveland Grand Prix. He joined Penske Speedways in 1985 when they took over management of the event. Haskett started his tenure with the Michigan track in 1986 as vice president and general manager.

While still maintaining his position there, he was named the vice president and general manager of Nazareth Speedway in Pennsylvania in '87. In '94, he was appointed executive vice president of Motorsports International, the merchandising division of the Penske group. In '97, he became president of the Michigan track and kept the same title when it merged with International Speedway Corp. in '99.

Since Haskett took over, MIS has become the largest sports facility in the state. Its capacity has grown from almost 40,000 reserved seats to more than 136,000.

"We have regard for Gene Haskett's many accomplishments at MIS, and we appreciate his contributions to motorsports as an event promoter," said Jim France, president of ISC. "We thank him for his leadership during MIS's growth and our recent merger with Penske Motorsports."