Reports: NASCAR Could Be Going Up For Sale

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Monday, May 7 2018

Reports surface on Monday that the owners of NASCAR may put it up for sale. (File photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

It appears that a for sale sign could be popping up soon in front of the NASCAR offices at 1801 W. International Speedway Blvd in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Several national publications are reporting Monday that the family of Bill France Sr., founder of the racing series in the late 1940s, is considering selling a controlling interest in its business.

According to Reuters’ unnamed sources, the France family – whose active members include Jim France (brother of the late Bill France Jr., who died in 2007), Lesa France Kennedy (daughter of France Jr.) and NASCAR board chairman and CEO Brian France (son of France Jr.) –  “are exploring options that include the sale of a majority stake, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.”

The Reuters piece went on to say, that NASCAR ownership, “is working with investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to identify a potential deal for the company, three sources said, cautioning that the deliberations are at exploratory stage and no agreement of any kind is certain.”

What is known for certain is that NASCAR, its racing and its brand have fallen on horrible times. Attendance and television numbers are down alarmingly. Stock in International Speedway Corp., the branch of the France family business which builds and maintains race venues, has dropped steeply.

Overhead shots of event grandstands show acres of empty seats. Infields where party-crazed fans once camped and drank into the wee hours, now sit in large-part vacant.

This just 15 years after NASCAR billed itself as the fastest growing sport in America. It was signing billion dollar television contracts, building huge new tracks and acquiring historic old tracks.

Drivers like Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jeff Gordon were attracting crossover appeal.

Now, this.

What’s happened? A long list of things, NASCAR fans will tell you. Everything from greedy owners, drivers and teams, to condescending television coverage, to the retirement of popular drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Gordon, to the death of the American car culture.

Whatever. NASCAR is suffering its biggest crisis and selling it may be in the offing.

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Monday, May 7 2018
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