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Speedway Motorsports, Inc has agreed to purchase New Hampshire International Speedway November 2, 2007

Posted by claireblang in Breaking News, Tracks.
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It’s official now:

Speedway Motorsports, Inc has agreed to purchase New Hampshire International Speedway from Bob and Gary Bahre for $340 million in cash. The agreement was announced today here in the auditorium in the Media Center at Texas Motor Speedway by O. Bruton Smith, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2008. Smith told us the track will be renamed New Hampshire Motor Speedway following completion of the acquisition. Smith was

NASCAR’S Chairman and CEO Brian France issued a statement immediately after the announcement was made that said, in part, “While we don’t have any details about SMI’s plans for NHIS, all sanctions for 2008 have been signed and finalized. As a result, there will be no location changes to the 2008 schedule that was released last month. This is important to the fans, competitors, broadcast partners and sponsors who have already made plans for the 2008 races. Looking beyond 2008, NASCAR will continue to consider requests by any track operator, including SMI, to relocate race dates. Under NASCAR’s “realignment” plan, we have worked with track owners to relocate race dates to meet the needs of our growing national fan base. Ultimately, any change must meet NASCAR’s objectives and serve our fans.”

Stay tuned for more details. Smith was his classic clever, humorous self as reporters lobbed questions at him regarding his plans and Smith, on his game, and obviously enjoying it, lobbed back answers that contained no specific details of what he planned to do with the track’s dates. With each followup and attempt to pin him down he lobbed back humorous come backs that at times sent the packed room of reporters in to loud gales of laughter.

One thing is for certain the 80-year old Smith does not plan to stop developing or buying tracks any time soon and he made that clear today.

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Comments»

1. Ashley J - November 6, 2007

Being a fan from Boston, and a college student, one of the only tracks I go to is NHIS (now NHMS? i guess). I seriously hope that Smith sticks to his plans to update the track, adding seats and whatnot. I hope we still get 2 races each season and aren’t limited to one. Even NASCAR.com said that Loudon is one of the only tracks that pretty much sells out all of its seats every year, for both the July and September races. It wouldn’t be fair to the fans in the Northeast to let us only have one race each year. I hope Speedway Motorsports Inc. doesn’t disappoint us fans in the Northeast, and only makes Loudon even better than it is.

2. Carl - December 28, 2007

This is nothing more than a way to free up two additional dates…. In ’09, NHIS will be lucky to have one venue.

That’s the trick, isn’t it; In order to eliminate a very successful racing facility that continues to draw hefty profits from time-tested, loyal fans, simply buy out the owners. After that, wait a year or so, and then farm those dates out to the left coast, or better yet, out of the country altogether.

Of course, we all know that the two new dates might come in the form of two new, super-exciting, Cali-fi-chigan-like tracks. Yes, let’s expand the support into areas where the fans are not nearly as rabid and/or dedicated (both emotionally and financially); let’s also make the racing predicatble and boring; Finally, add a pinch of Euroflash-IRL fashion and big-time commercial sponsorship! Voila’ – 21st century NASCAR.

Reminds me of the movie Gladiator; Old-school fans are like Maximus and new-wave business interests are like Commodus. The only difference: money always wins in the real world. Brian “Commodus” France holds all the dollars.


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