Charles E. Nearburg

President, Nearburg Producing Company

Founding Nearburg Producing Company in 1979, Charles Nearburg grew it into one of the Top 100 Independent Producers in the U.S.*, and—always operating in an environmentally conscious way—received two Environmental Awards from the Bureau of Land Management.  In 2016-2017 Nearburg sold the majority of its producing assets to two firms backed by Warburg Pincus and Carnelian Capital. Nearburg also owns STOL Aviation, which is developing a world class “back country” short take-off and landing airplane, and Nearburg Racing which prepares vintage Formula 1 cars for competition.  He is also a minority owner and advisory board member of McLaren Racing LTD, a top Formula 1 and IndyCar Team.  

In honor of his son, Rett, who lost an 11-year battle with Ewing’s sarcoma at age 21, Nearburg devotes substantial time and resources in support of Ewing’s sarcoma cancer research. He was instrumental in founding the Rett Nearburg International Ewing’s Sarcoma Research Symposia, a biennial gathering of researchers and clinicians specializing in the disease (  

A lifelong car racer, Nearburg’s career includes driving the Ferrari 333 SP at the 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race, finishing fourth and 10th overall at the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race, and driving the late Walter Payton’s IndyCar in the inaugural CART/FedEx Championship Series in 1997.  In September 2010, driving the “Spirit of Rett” streamliner at the Bonneville Salt Flats International Speedway, Nearburg set a 414 mph FIA World Record with a top speed of 422 mph. This made the “Spirit of Rett” the fastest single engine normally aspirated car in history, as well as the third fastest internal combustion engine car in history.  Nearburg is one of only six people in history to have set a piston engine car record at over 400 mph.  The “Spirit of Rett” was built in the Nearburg Racing shop.  

A graduate of Dartmouth College, Nearburg received Bachelor of Arts (AB),  Bachelor of Engineering (BE), and Masters of Engineering (ME) degrees at Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering, where he has been on the Board of Advisors for 30 years. He is also a Trustee of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Foundation, the Petersen Automotive Museum (Los Angeles), ArtCenter College of Design (Pasadena), and a Life Trustee of the St. Mark’s School of Texas (Dallas).  He is a past Trustee of the Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore),  The Hockaday School (Dallas), and Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum of Art (Hanover).    

* Oil & Gas Journal