Trackside tribute

Posted on June 21, 2013 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Sonoma Raceway’s Diana Brennan and Steve Page honor the track’s late marketing executive, John Cardinale, during kick-off activities for this weekend’s Toyota/SaveMart 350.

The track’s media center was renamed the “John Cardinale Media Center” in a ceremony today. Cardinale was inducted into the track’s Wall of Fame as well.

His wife Andrea and daughters Emma and Lauren accepted the honors on his behalf.

”These two tributes will ensure John has a permanent presence at the raceway and provide us a daily reminder of how fortunate we were to have him in our lives,” said Page, Sonoma Raceway president and general manager.

Cardinale passed away in March after a two-year fight with gastric cancer. He had worked at the track since 1998 in public relations, community relations and marketing.

“Although he is not with us physically, his spirit surrounds us and carries forward in everything we do.” Page said.

Cardinale was one of the most popular and respected PR directors in NASCAR. Among the many honors the Bay Area native received during his career included NASCAR Track PR Representative of the Year in 2009 and posthumously received the National Motorsports Press Association “Spirit Award” last month.

“John was not only our dear friend and colleague, he was a major contributor to the growth and success of this organization,” Page said.

Photo by Scott Knight