SMI Chairman O. Bruton Smith Garners NASCAR Hall of Fame Nomination
Speedway Motorsports, Inc., Chairman O. Bruton Smith is one of five new nominees eligible for the 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class.
“It is a great honor to be nominated as a candidate for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Bill France Jr. once asked me to help him build NASCAR and I have literally been building monuments to the sport for my entire lifetime. Millions of people have attended NASCAR events at our speedways over the years and we’ve tried to be creative and innovative in an effort to help push the sport to a higher level. It’s always been a perfect fit for me because I love racing and I love NASCAR fans,“ Smith said.
Twenty five legendary personalities selected by a 21-person Nominating Committe will be eligible for the fifth all-time NASCAR Hall of Fame Class. Inductees to the new class will be determined by a 54-member Voting Panel comprised of the entire Nominating Committee, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners and crew chiefs) and recognized industry leaders. Race fans are able to vote through NASCAR.com until noon on May 21. Fan voting results will be considered by the committee.
Smith is considered the preeminent speedway promoter and entrepreneur who revolutionized motorsports entertainment over the course of seven decades. Smith’s first major speedway endeavor began when he partnered with racing star Curtis Turner to open Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., in 1960 and held the first World 600 that year.
His racing empire of motorsports facilities has grown immensely under SMI, which currently owns and operates Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Sonoma Raceway, Kentucky Speedway, which joined the SMI family in 2008, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway.
The speedway group plays host to 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, 17 NASCAR Nationwide or Camping World Truck Series races, and other high-profile motorsports events.
Smith took SMI public in 1995 and in the process became the first motorsports company to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange. He also was the first in the sport to transform speedways into modern, first-class sports venues, which included the additions of condominiums, private clubs and a proliferation of luxury suites.
He also founded Speedway Children’s Charities in 1984 for the betterment of children and the result has been donations in the tens of millions over the years.
Smith has been inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame (2007), National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame (2006) and Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame (2008).