Speedway Motorsports
HeadquartersCharlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, North Carolina
Key people
Bruton Smith, founder
Marcus G. Smith, President and CEO
ProductsMotorsport venues
Legends cars
Revenue$570 million USD
Number of employees
793 (full time)

Speedway Motorsports, LLC is an American company that owns and manages auto racing facilities that host races sanctioned by NASCAR, IndyCar Series, NHRA, World of Outlaws and other racing series. The company was founded by Bruton Smith and has its headquarters at Charlotte Motor Speedway, in Concord, North Carolina, just north of Charlotte. Speedway Motorsports owns nine racing facilities with a combined seating capacity of approximately 885,000. In addition to operating racetracks, Speedway Motorsports owns Performance Racing Network (PRN), U.S. Legend Cars International, and co-owns Motorsports Authentics.

After trading for 25 years on the New York Stock Exchange, where it was known as Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI), the company was taken private in September 2019, and today is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sonic Financial Corporation, itself owned by members of Bruton Smith's family. The "SMI" initialism is still sometimes used colloquially.


Speedway Motorsports didn't officially incorporate until 1994. Bruton Smith began building SMI in the 1950s when he worked as a race promoter and eventually built Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1959. Smith left the racing business in the early 1960s to pursue other business ventures. He became very successful and by 1975 had owned majority shares in CMS and took over as CEO. A year later he appointed H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler as general manager. Smith began to expand CMS, adding additional grandstands and facilities including condominiums, a first for a sports facility.

In 1990, Smith began to acquire additional speedway properties beginning with Atlanta Motor Speedway. As he did with Charlotte, Smith began expanding seating and facilities at Atlanta. In 1992, lights were added to CMS, making it one of the first speedways to offer night racing, and the company developed the Legends car racing circuit, now called U.S. Legend Cars International. Smith incorporated Speedway Motorsports in December 1994, and on February 24, 1995 took the company public by offering shares of stock, debuting at $18 per share.[1]

In 1996, SMI began to quickly expand, acquiring two additional facilities; Bristol Motor Speedway and Sonoma Raceway. A year later, the company finished construction of the $250 million, 150,000 seat Texas Motor Speedway. Between 1993 and 1998, SMI had increased its total seating capacity from 176,000 to 551,000. In 1999 SMI outbid rival International Speedway Corporation (ISC) to purchase Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Smith had outbid ISC by $15 million to make a total $215 million purchase. That same year, SMI sold the naming rights of its flagship Charlotte Motor Speedway to Lowe's, a $35 million deal that would last until 2009.[1]

Until 1999, Speedway Motorsports was the top track owner in the motorsports industry. That year, International Speedway Corporation, then the second largest track owner, acquired Penske Motorsports, then the third largest track owner. The $623 million deal propelled ISC to the top track owner, and SMI fell to second. Smith then turned his attention towards securing two NASCAR dates at each of his facilities.[1] As of 2011, only four SMI owned tracks hold two NASCAR dates.

SMI purchased North Wilkesboro Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2007, and in 2008 purchased Kentucky Speedway. Today SMI owns nine racing facilities, eight of which are used to host major racing series including NASCAR, IndyCar and NHRA. As of December 31, 2009, the combined total permanent seating capacity was approximately 885,000.[2] SMI owned tracks host 13 of the 36 NASCAR Cup Series races, including four races in the NASCAR playoffs, plus the NASCAR All-Star Race.

In December 2018, Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway operator Tony Formosa Jr. reached an agreement with Speedway Motorsports and its main Tennessee track Bristol Motor Speedway to co-operate the facility and make the necessary upgrades for the track to host NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races again and continue to host weekly racing events.[3] Efforts were renewed in late 2020 as SMI and Bristol launched negotiations with the City of Nashville with the goal of hosting NASCAR races as early as 2022.[4] The track ultimately did not hold races in 2022, although talks between both parties continued.

When NASCAR announced that Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, would host the national series beginning in 2021, SMI assumed management responsibilities for the NASCAR at COTA race weekend.[5]

In addition to speedway properties, SMI also owns Performance Racing Network, a radio network that broadcasts all NASCAR races at SMI owned tracks. SMI also equally owns Motorsports Authentics, a joint venture formed with International Speedway Corporation, to produce, market and sell licensed motorsports merchandise.[2]

Facilities owned

Track Location Facility
Atlanta Motor Speedway Hampton, Georgia 820 1.54 miles (2.48 km) quad-oval 71,000 1960 1990
Bristol Motor Speedway Bristol, Tennessee 670 0.533 miles (0.858 km) oval 146,000 1961 1996
Charlotte Motor Speedway Concord, North Carolina 1,310 1.5 miles (2.4 km) quad-oval 94,000 1960 1975
Dover Motor Speedway Dover, Delaware 1 mile (1.6 km) oval 95,000 1969 2021
Kentucky Speedway Sparta, Kentucky 820 1.5 miles (2.4 km) tri-oval 107,000 2000 2008
Las Vegas Motor Speedway Las Vegas 1,030 1.5 miles (2.4 km) D shaped-oval 80,000 1996 1999
Nashville Superspeedway Lebanon, Tennessee 1.333 miles (2.145 km) D-shaped-oval 38,000 2001 2021
New Hampshire Motor Speedway Loudon, New Hampshire 1,180 1.058 miles (1.703 km) oval 88,000 1990 2007
North Wilkesboro Speedway North Wilkesboro, North Carolina 49 0.625 miles (1.006 km) oval 18,000 1947
Sonoma Raceway Sonoma, California 1,600 1.99 miles (3.20 km) road course 47,000 1968 1996
Texas Motor Speedway Fort Worth, Texas 1,490 1.5 miles (2.4 km) quad-oval 100,000 1996 Built
*Some facilities include multiple layouts and multiple tracks including road courses, dirt ovals and dragways

Notable purchases

SMI has a history of purchasing tracks to obtain NASCAR race dates. The company's purchases and closures of the tracks in order to obtain a second NASCAR date for Texas Motor Speedway led to the Ferko lawsuit.

North Wilkesboro Speedway

In 1996, the company purchased half interest in North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina along with Bob Bahre of New Hampshire International Speedway (now New Hampshire Motor Speedway). SMI moved one of North Wilkesboro Speedway's dates to Texas Motor Speedway and Bob Bahre moved the second date to his facility. On November 2, 2007, SMI purchased NHIS and part of the purchase resulted in SMI gaining full ownership of North Wilkesboro Speedway.[6]

North Carolina Speedway

In 2004, as a result of the Ferko lawsuit, SMI gained ownership of the North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, North Carolina. SMI closed North Carolina Speedway and moved the track's final race date to Texas Motor Speedway. On October 2, 2007, SMI sold North Carolina Speedway at auction. The track was purchased by "Indiana" Andy Hillenburg for $4.4 million, and renamed Rockingham Speedway.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

On November 2, 2007, SMI announced the purchase of New Hampshire International Speedway from Bob Bahre, and renamed the facility New Hampshire Motor Speedway. This has led to speculation that SMI would move one of New Hampshire's dates to Las Vegas Motor Speedway and/or swap the date with the fall race at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS has expressed an interest in moving the fall race away from the first weekend in November, which is also the opening weekend of deer hunting season in Texas). In 2018, the fall race weekend was moved to Las Vegas.

Kentucky Speedway

On May 22, 2008, SMI announced it had purchased Kentucky Speedway from Kentucky Speedway, LLC. The track had been trying to secure a NASCAR Sprint Cup race for several years.[7] SMI was finally victorious in their pursuit, with Kentucky Speedway receiving its inaugural Sprint Cup race on July 9, 2011.[8] It appears this came at the expense of SMI-owned Atlanta Motor Speedway, which dropped from two races to one on the 2011 Sprint Cup schedule.[9] It was announced in September 2020 that Kentucky Speedway would not return for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule, and its date would be given back to Atlanta Motor Speedway.[10]

Dover Motorsports

Dover Motorsports Incorporated
DefunctDecember 31, 2021 (2021-12-31)
HeadquartersDover, Delaware
ProductsSporting events

Dover Motorsports, Inc. (formerly Dover Downs Entertainment) was a company that owned several auto racing circuits in the United States. The company was based in Dover, Delaware, the home of its flagship track Dover International Speedway, a 1-mile (1.6 km) concrete oval with a seating capacity of 95,500 that opened in 1969. The company formerly owned the Dover Downs harness racing track adjacent to the Dover speedway. Dover Motorsports also operated Nashville Superspeedway, a 1.333-mile concrete oval track in Lebanon, Tennessee.

Dover Motorsports owned Memphis Motorsports Park, a 0.75-mile tri-oval asphalt short track in Millington, Tennessee, but closed the track in October 2009 to competition. It was later sold to Palm Beach International Raceway after sitting unused for over a year. Dover also owned Gateway International Raceway, a 1.25-mile egg-shaped asphalt oval track in Madison, Illinois, which was sold in 2011. After attempts to sell Nashville Superspeedway, the venue reopened in 2021 and hosted a NASCAR race weekend, replacing one of the race weekends at Dover International Speedway.[11]

On November 8, 2021, Speedway Motorsports announced that it had agreed to purchase Dover Motorsports, owner of Dover International Speedway and Nashville Superspeedway at the time, for $3.61 per share in cash for an approximate total equity value of $131.5 million. The deal closed in December, with SMI gaining full control of the two tracks.[12]

Principal subsidiaries


Principal competitors


  1. ^ a b c "History of Speedway Motorsports, Inc". Reference for businesses. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Company Description". Speedway Motorsports. Archived from the original on 21 February 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
  3. ^ Rau, Nate; Garrison, Joey (December 19, 2018). "Track operator strikes deal with Speedway Motorsports to return NASCAR to Nashville". The Tennessean. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  4. ^ Jorge, Kaylin (December 21, 2020). "Nashville in talks to bring NASCAR to Fairgrounds Speedway as soon as 2022". WZTV. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  5. ^ "Circuit of the Americas Welcomes NASCAR in 2021". Circuit of the Americas. September 30, 2020. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  6. ^ "SMI purchasing New Hampshire speedway". Freelibrary. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
  7. ^ "Speedway Motorsports Agrees to Purchase Kentucky Speedway". May 22, 2008. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
  8. ^ "Sprint Cup Series to Visit Kentucky Speedway in 2011". Kentucky Speedway. August 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 24 November 2010. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
  9. ^ "Atlanta Motor Speedway Announces Schedule For 2011 NASCAR Season". August 5, 2010. Archived from the original on 7 August 2010. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
  10. ^ "Chicagoland, Kentucky Off 2021 Cup Series Calendar". 29 September 2020. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  11. ^ Humbles, Andy (June 2, 2020). "2021 NASCAR Cup Series race to be scheduled at Wilson County's Nashville Superspeedway". The Tennessean. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  12. ^ "Speedway Motorsports to Acquire Dover Motorsports, Inc". www.businesswire.com. 2021-11-08. Retrieved 2021-11-09.