NASCAR announced that it has successfully closed its acquisition of International Speedway Corporation (“ISC”), merging its operations into one, new company moving forward. The new company will remain based in Daytona Beach, Florida and will continue as NASCAR. As part of this process, ISC has been delisted from NASDAQ.
In leading the new, combined company, Jim France will serve as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, with Lesa France Kennedy as Executive Vice Chair. Steve Phelps has been appointed President and will oversee all operations of the merged entity.
“The merger of NASCAR and ISC represents a historic moment for our sport,” France said. “There is much work ahead of us, but we’re pleased with the progress made to position our sport for success. Delivering for our race fans and partners is job number one and we look forward to doing that better than ever for years to come.”
The merger represents an important step forward for NASCAR as the sport creates a unified vision to embrace its long history of exciting, family-oriented racing experiences while developing strategic growth initiatives that will drive the passion of core fans and attract the next generation of race fans.
“This sport has meant so much to our family and we are committed to leading NASCAR through this next chapter of growth,” said France Kennedy. “Combining the two companies will allow us to capture the best aspects of both operations. Our stronger organization will allow us to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities to grow the sport over the next decade plus.”
As part of the new organization, the Board of Directors will consist of France, France Kennedy, Mike Helton and Gary Crotty, Chief Legal Officer. Phelps’ direct reports will represent executives with deep industry experience, including Ed Bennett, Executive Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer; Jill Gregory, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing and Content Officer; Craig Neeb, Executive Vice President & Chief Innovation Officer; Steve O’Donnell, Executive Vice President & Chief Racing Development Officer; and Daryl Wolfe, Executive Vice President & Chief Operations and Sales Officer. In addition, Helton and John Saunders will serve as senior advisors under the new leadership structure.
“With great racing across all of our series, an exciting 2020 schedule on tap, and the Next Gen race car in development, we are better positioned than ever before to lead the sport into a new era of growth,” said Phelps. “We have a strong, experienced leadership team in place with incredibly dedicated employees at every level throughout our organization. Our best days are ahead of us and our new organization is going to allow us to better deliver great racing to our fans everywhere.”
Advising NASCAR on this transaction were Goldman, Sachs & Co. LLC as exclusive financial advisor and Baker Botts L.L.P. as legal counsel. Dean Bradley Osborne Partners LLC served as financial advisor and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz as legal counsel to the ISC special committee. Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP served as legal counsel to ISC and BDT & Company served as financial advisors to the France family.
Hybrid NASCAR race cars? Sounds like it’s very much in the future.
Big changes may be afoot for the NASCAR series as organizers look to introduce hybrid NASCAR race cars as early as 2022.
NASCAR’s senior vice president for racing development John Probst made the news in an interview with TechCrunch published on Thursday. The executive said NASCAR isn’t blind to electrification squeezing its way into numerous other race series and said the push for hybrid race cars will come after 2021. It’s possible we may see the electrified NASCAR racers hit the tracks in 2022, he added.
However, the hybrid technology might not be best suited for famed oval tracks so many associate with stock car racing. It may be better served on shorter circuits and those with more turns for braking. There, regenerative braking systems would put the hybrid systems in the spotlight. Similar to how Formula One’s drag-reduction system works, racers could potentially activate the system to provide a short burst of extra power for overtaking.
No matter how the hybrid systems affect racing, Probst ensured its main job will be to add power. Any finalized hybrid upgrade will work alongside its current internal-combustion engine blueprint. NASCAR intends to work with the manufacturers (Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota) to see how it may work best for the race series.
Despite cozying up to hybrids, the idea of a battery-electric race car isn’t on the table right now. The roar of engines blasting by fans is safe and sound for the foreseeable future.
Ahead of hybrid powertrains, NASCAR will introduce its next-generation race car in 2021. A prototype for the next-gen race car hit the track this week after two years of development. The series said the next car will not only honor traditional stock cars, but it will also incorporate new technology.
After nearly a month-and-a-half of inactivity, Georgetown Speedway fires back to life with a huge weekend of racing on November 1-2.
The Mid-Atlantic Championship Weekend features two full days of action: something to please any race fan. The event brings down the curtain on the 2019 season at the Sussex County half-mile oval.
Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2 both include plenty of on-track activity.
On Friday night, Small-Block Modifieds (max. 370 cubic inches) headline the program with a 30-lap main offering a minimum of $3,000 to win. Should a driver post a $50 “Gambler’s Fee” that number will increase to $4,000. A $100 “Gambler’s Fee” will result in a $5,000 top prize.
RUSH Late Models will compete in a 20-lap race offering $1,000 to the winner.
Also on the Nov, 1 docket are the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco Modified and Sunoco Super Late Model heat races plus 12-lap features for the Delaware Super Trucks and Delmarva Chargers.
Saturday’s program features last-chance qualifiers and 40-lap main events for the STSS Velocita-USA Modifieds and Sunoco Super Late Models. Each race pays $5,000 to win and increases to $6,000 with a $50 “Gambler’s Fee” and $7,000 with a $100 “Gambler’s Fee” posted.
The STSS Crate 602 Sportsman will race 20 laps for a $1,500 winner’s share, while the Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series 305 Sprints make their first voyage to Georgetown for the season in their championship event.
Saturday’s program will conclude with 12-lap mains for the Southern Delaware Vintage Stock Cars, Little Lincolns and Delmarva Chargers.
Sunday, November 3 will be utilized in the event of inclement weather.
A complete weekend schedule and breakdown can be found below.
Georgetown Speedway, originally constructed by Melvin L. Joseph in 1949, is located at the intersection of Route 113 and Speedway Road in Georgetown, Del., just miles from the Delaware beaches and less than a 40-minute drive from Ocean City, Md.
A website is live for the speedway at www.thegeorgetownspeedway.com. Like Georgetown Speedway on Facebook, follow @thegtownspdwy on Twitter, e-mail email@example.com or contact the speedway hotline at 302.563.GTWN (4896).
A look back at speedways and drivers of the past are the focus of the day for participants in the Saratoga Automobile Museum’s popular Lost Speedways program. But since the program takes most of the day, lunch is a priority as well and for 2019, one of Saratoga Springs’ finest caterers will be on hand to refuel attendees.
“Mama Mia’s Ristorante provided the meals for our volunteers at our recent Saratoga Auto Auction and the food was outstanding,” said Lost Speedways organizer Ron Hedger. “Before the auction was even complete, I’d asked Giuseppe to sell a variety of lunch items during the program and he readily agreed. He’s a major part of many of our events and I’m sure everyone will love his offerings.”
Set for Saturday, November 30, 2019, the look back at speedways that no longer exist and racing heroes who excited the fans “back in the day” will open with “Motorcycle Madness” by longtime favorite Mark Supley, followed by newcomer Paul Malecki, who has done exhaustive research on the history of the long-defunct Altamont Fairgrounds Speedway, site of big car races featuring regional drivers, AAA events and even NASCAR’s top division over the years.
Host Ron Hedger’s interviews with a pair of regional legends will round out the program. First up will be Dickie Larkin. Known for his success on the Empire State’s small block scene early in his career driving the famed “Yellow Banana” Ford Falcon, Larkin went on to great success in the big blocks at Lebanon Valley Speedway, where he had a huge fan base. He also has great tales to tell of his exploits on the Syracuse mile, where he was always a contender.
The program will close out with another Lebanon Valley hero, John Flach Jr., who was both a steady winner and a track champion on the high banks before retiring at a relatively young age. But the 2019 season found Flach back behind the wheel in vintage events and winning almost everywhere the vintage club went, all the time wearing a huge smile as he evoked memories of the past.
Other highlights of the “Saturday after Thanksgiving” program will include the traditional display of memorabilia and vintage photos that participants bring to share and a quick big screen look at vintage photos from western New York showing the rustic cars used long ago.
Additionally, a short home movie of Fonda time trials back in the 1960’s and a Billy Rafter win on the Syracuse mile will be run at noon, before the formal presentations start.
The Saratoga Automobile Museum will open at 10 am, memorabilia will be on display from 11 am through the day and the formal presentations will kick off at 12:30 pm. As always, regular admission rates will prevail, with museum members admitted free of charge.
The Saratoga Automobile Museum is located on the Avenue of the Pines in the Saratoga Spa State Park, just north of Exit 13 of the Adirondack Northway/I-87. More information about the museum and current exhibits can be found online at www.saratogaautomuseum.org.
Speed51.com confirmed Sunday night that it has been purchased by the Race Team Alliance, the organization of a majority of the NASCAR Cup teams.
Chris Knight first reported the deal on Twitter.
Speed51.com streams a variety of short track races from across the country.
Speed51.com’s statement read:
“Speed51 confirms that it has been purchased by the Race Team Alliance. Post-acquisition, Speed51 will continue to operate in the manner as it always has and remains committed to providing the best in live, short-track racing to the racing fan base. The RTA, with its mission to promote North American stock car racing, is ideally suited to provide Speed51 with access to an overall larger racing fan base over time. Founder, Bob Dillner, will continue is his role as the President of Speed51.”
Cup teams in the Race Team Alliance are: Stewart-Haas Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Team Penske, Hendrick Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, JTG Daugherty Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Chip Ganassi Racing, Germain Racing, Leavine Family Racing, Go Fas Racing and Wood Brothers Racing.
The Race Team Alliance issued a statement to NBC Sports on the purchase of Speed51.com:
“Race Team Alliance confirms the purchase of Speed51, a leading live, short-track racing distribution company based in Concord, NC. The RTA, which represents the common interests of its 13 NASCAR Cup Team members, looks for strategic opportunities which both compliment the RTA’s core principles of promoting and growing the sport and advancing the common interests of the member Race Teams. The RTA identified Speed51 as a growing company with strong synergies to RTA’s commitment to the racing community and aligns with our fan bases’ enthusiasm for grass roots racing. The Speed51/RTA combination will explore ways to create and distribute to race fans exciting new Team related content, and allow the Teams to better connect directly with their fans.
“Speed51, which first started operating as a short-track news and information site in early 2000’s, has become a prominent player in the live, short-track world, streaming over 400 races each year to a dedicated fan base. Founded by racing and sports broadcasting personality, Bob Dillner, Speed51 has consistently grown throughout the years and the RTA identified the company as one with great potential. Post-acquisition, Bob will continue in his role as the President of Speed51 and report to RTA’s Executive Director, Jonathan Marshall.”
Rob Kauffman, chairman of the RTA said in a statement: “On behalf of our Member Race Teams, we are very excited about our new initiative with Speed51. Bob Dillner and his team have created a great platform to cover grass roots racing , which touches the core fanbase of our sport – as well as many of our past, current and future racers and team members. We are looking forward helping him grow the business and plan to work together to create even more interesting content for our fans.”
Bob Dillner, founder and president of Speed51 stated: “Speed51 has always had an intense passion for short track racing and the RTA shares the same desire to bring more attention to this style of racing. The RTA member teams are undoubtedly some of the most influential race teams in the world and at the same time understand grassroots racing because it’s where they came from. I am thrilled to be partnered with this group of owners and with their help, not only will Speed51 be able to grow, but so will the industry surrounding short track racing, from track owners and promoters, to series organizers and the racers themselves. This initiative will create better access for fans to witness the rise to stardom of some of the sport’s future prospects.”
One of the founders of the Eastern Motorsports Press Association in 1969 and the group’s president for nearly 40 years, Ernie Saxton was the driving force behind the EMPA for many years and along with his wife Marilyn. Saxton has also worked as an announcer at 174 tracks all across the country including Grandview until he retired from announcing after 45 years. Today Ernie lends his considerable experience in racing as a regular commentator for PennSports.LIVE.