Friends of Laguna Seca Names Lauri Eberhart as CEO to Lead Historic Raceway’s Revitalization

1964 CERV II Brandan Gillogly

The Friends of Laguna Seca, the nonprofit organization tasked with managing the historic Monterey County racetrack, has named Lauri Eberhart as CEO. Eberhart has a long history of motorsports management, including running Charlotte Motor Speedway. She began her motorsports career as an assistant to Michigan International Speedway’s public relations director when she was still in high school.
“Lauri brings a wealth of legal, sports, and entertainment industry experience and expertise to FLS,” said Ross Merrill, president of Friends of Laguna Seca. “Her skillset melds perfectly with our existing resources and partnerships as we step into the long-term concession at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area. FLS is extremely excited to welcome Lauri to our team.”

Friends of Laguna Seca

We spoke with Eberhart about her new role and how she and the rest of the Friends of Laguna Seca hope to reestablish the speedway. Eberhart, who currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, “right in the heart of NASCAR Country” as she put it, will soon be moving west. “With this type of job, and with the plans that the Friends have with the facility, you need boots on the ground,” said Eberhart.

“From my first interaction with Lauri it was obvious that she shared our passion and vision for the future of Laguna Seca,” said Bruce Canepa, vice president, Friends of Laguna Seca. “Her background includes a wealth of motorsports experience that will lead us to a greatly improved Laguna Seca that will benefit the community, motorsports, and fans.”

Laguna Seca Aerial Monterey CA State Gov
County of Monterey/T.M. Hill 2017

“To go to one of the most beautiful places in the country and run a speedway is really an exciting project,” said Eberhart. “The Friends of Laguna Seca is looking to restore, revitalize, and reinvent the raceway, and work with the community so that everybody can take pride in what’s happening at Laguna Seca,” she said. That three-pronged strategy first involves restoration, which means making up for years of deferred maintenance and lack of investment. Phase two of the plan is revitalizing the space by improving some of the basic infrastructure, like parking and hospitality. “I want to see Laguna Seca, the physical structure and the infrastructure of the facility, be the showcase that it is, on the international stage,” said Eberhart.

2022 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion
Cameron Neveu

The final phase will be reinventing the space by expanding the venue’s appeal and modernizing the track’s business model based on what the community wants to see there. Eberhart said that when the time comes to design the new construction, the community will be involved and that modern sports facilities like professional football stadiums or ballparks might be considered for inspiration. “We also have to take inspiration from the local community,” said Eberhart. “There’s a certain vibe in Monterey. There’s a certain personality. We have to be mindful that we’re incorporating those real, native assets of the raceway itself.”

With the recent litigation in its rearview, Friends of Laguna Seca sees a promising future as the locals sense a positive shift in momentum. “I’m feeling a lot of love from the local community for this project and for the vision that Friends of Laguna Seca have for the raceway,” said Eberhart.
“Laguna Seca is one of America’s most historic race circuits. I am excited and honored by this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead the charge as Friends of Laguna Seca reimagines and reconstructs this incredible raceway to begin a new chapter,” said Eberhart. “I look forward to partnering with our neighbors, the greater community, the raceway staff, and Monterey County to ensure the raceway’s success benefits the community and the entire racing world for decades to come.”

As fans of motorsports in general and Laguna Seca in particular, we’re excited to see the historic facility get this much-needed attention from a team led by such an accomplished motorsports executive. We’re looking forward to seeing the next evolution of Laguna Seca unfold.


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    I wish Ms. Eberhart all the best in her move west and her new job. It’ll be interesting to see what all the new developments are.

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