In response to today's announcement regarding H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler's retirement as President and General Manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway and President of Speedway Motorsports, New Hampshire Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Jerry Gappens issued this statement:

"To me, throughout his career, Humpy personified the great characteristics of P.T. Barnum, Walt Disney and Don King," said Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  "He entertained fans like P.T. Barnum by creating that three-ring circus atmosphere in Charlotte. Humpy had the vision to see into the future and paid attention to detail like Disney.  He promoted every race like Don King promoted heavyweight title fights.  It wouldn't surprise me to see him become the world's greatest fisherman or at least promote some great fishing boat races off the Carolina coast!

"On a personal level, I have so much respect and admiration for him, not only as one of the greatest promoters in sport, but more importantly as a human being.  He represents high standards, moral integrity and outstanding family values.   I learned so much from him in my 15 years at Lowe's Motor Speedway.  I am happy that he can step away with no regrets and spend quality time with his wife Pat and the rest of his family."

Editors Note: Gappens worked under Wheeler's tutelage for 15 years at the Concord, North Carolina track before being promoted to his current role at New Hampshire by Speedway Motorsports Chairman, Bruton Smith.