Is NASCAR’s first family just spinning its wheels by ‘buying’ International Speedway?

NASCAR bought International Speedway -- a company that NASCAR’s founding family already owned -- in a consolidation attempt.


May 24, 2019

Yesterday, NASCAR agreed to buy International Speedway Corp. (ISC) — which operates many of its racetracks — for $2B.

The merger gives NASCAR control of 12 important racetracks. 

But both companies were already owned by the France family — NASCAR’s famous founders — and now they’re consolidating control over their driving dynasty.

Recently, the race-car royals are on a rough ride 

Bill France founded NASCAR in 1948 and passed the company to his son Bill France Jr. (in 1972) and then his grandson Brian France (in 2002). 

But when CEO Brian France was arrested for drunken driving and drug possession last year, the driving dynasty nearly spun out. 

Now, Brian’s uncle, Jim, is behind the wheel of the effort to save NASCAR’s decelerating dynasty, whose revenue declined 54% between 2007 and 2017.

J-France, take the wheel

The fact that the Frances — who are worth ~$5.7B — also own and run International Speedway (formerly “Bill France Racing Inc.”) has raised several antitrust eyebrows over the years. 

But, merging the public (ISC) and its private (NASCAR) companies will give the Frances more chances to boost revenues behind closed doors, putting rumors of NASCAR’s sale to rest.

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