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IRG Sports + Entertainment acquires Cordova Dragway Park; Laura Gardner named Corporate Director of HR

Monday, 03 November 2014

IRG Sports + Entertainment™ (IRG) announced that it has closed on the transaction to acquire Cordova Dragway Park, and has assumed control of the facility’s operations effective today. The motorsports venue has been renamed Cordova International Raceway™ (CIR), joining sister tracks Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter, Florida; Memphis International Raceway in Millington, Tennessee; and Southwestern International Raceway in Tucson, Arizona.

IRG has named Bobbi Jo Cox as the new General Manager for CIR. Cox has 16 years of experience at the facility, serving in many roles over that period. She will take over the day to day operations from Scott and Laura Gardner, as they both have transitioned to new roles within the IRG family of companies.

Located in Cordova, Illinois on 190 acres, CIR is a 1/4-mile Championship Drag Strip with a Compulink Timing System, on-site camping and Musco stadium lighting. IRG had disclosed in October, as part of a major financing deal with TPG Specialty Lending (NYSE:TSLX), that CIR will soon receive capital improvements including new Compulink fiber optic timing and LED scoreboards, additional grandstands, and the resurfacing of the Drag Strip. CIR will remain an IHRA Member Track, and it will host the IHRA’s Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series on May 29-30, 2015.

“Cordova International Raceway is well known for its popular World Series of Drag Racing which celebrated its 61st year in August 2014. We are pleased to have such a highly regarded and successful venue as part of our family of race tracks,” noted IRG CEO Jason Rittenberry, CFE.

As IRG takes over the day to day management of CIR, previous co-owner and Vice President & General Manager of Cordova Dragway Park, Laura Gardner, has been named as the Corporate Director of Human Resources and Training for all of the IRG companies including CIR. After a successful career in the banking industry, Laura and her husband Scott operated Cordova Dragway Park for 19 years. Last year, Scott was named the President of the International Hot Rod Association. In her new role with IRG, Laura will be responsible for human resources and training across all companies in the IRG portfolio. She will report directly to the Chief Financial Officer of IRG, Peter A. Evanofski, and will work out of the Norwalk, Ohio offices. Laura assumes her new role with IRG immediately.

“I am excited to have Laura join us at the corporate level of IRG. She will be an integral member of our corporate management team,” stated Rittenberry. “She will be a tremendous asset to us in recruiting top notch staff to our company owned tracks and improve the onboarding process of new employees.”

For more information on CIR, visit www.RaceCIR.com.

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