Bruton Smith to pursue NY City track

There is a reason Bruton Smith ranks among the most powerful figures in auto racing. As the Lowe's Motor Speedway president, Humpy Wheeler, said of Smith, his longtime friend and employer, "He understands leverage better than anybody I've ever seen." Smith has used leverage, power, money and a born salesman's bulldog drive to build drag strips, racetracks and an assortment of companies that have made him a billionaire. Now he is considering another project. Less than a year after International Speedway Corporation gave up its bid to build a racetrack on Staten Island, Smith said he was considering several properties in New York as a possible site for a track. Smith, who has an estimated worth of $1.5 billion and ranks No. 317 on the latest Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans, has a lot to keep him busy. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Speedway Motorsports Inc., which operates seven racetracks that play host to 12 Sprint Cup events and the NASCAR all-star race each year. That makes Smith the chief rival of the France family, which runs NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation. But there is respect for Smith, whose tracks set the standard for modern racing facilities. NASCAR's chairman, Brian France, recently called Smith a partner in stock-car racing's expansion. NY Times

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