He was “Kevin Thomas from Vermont,” the owner of a water purification business and winner of a fan contest allowing him to take a temporary job in NASCAR to be filmed for a documentary.

At least that was the cover story believed by NASCAR industry employees preparing for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in July.

In reality, there was no contest. And mild-mannered Kevin Thomas was actually Steve Phelps, NASCAR’s chief marketing officer, filming an episode of the hit show Undercover Boss, airing at 9 p.m. ET Sunday on CBS.

Through its Los Angeles office, which places the sport in mainstream entertainment ranging from introducing the grand showcase on The Price is Right to Talladega Nights, NASCAR had been discussing a slot on Undercover Boss with CBS for several years.

Too many fans would instantly recognize NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France or president Mike Helton. Phelps proved to be the missing ingredient.

Read more of Andrew Giongola’s article on NASCAR.com

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