SMI Chairman Bruton Smith interested in buying Carolina Panthers

Bruton Smith (L) with son Marcus
Bruton Smith (L) with son Marcus

For O. Bruton Smith, hosting the Battle at Bristol between the University of Tennessee and Virginia Tech on Sept. 20 might not be his sole path to diversifying his entertainment portfolio to football and a broader sports platform.

The Chairman of Speedway Motorsport confirmed his interest in purchasing the Carolina Panthers during an interview at Texas Motor Speedway this past weekend.

"We were talking about this today," Smith told “Would I buy them? I’ve got some boys that want me to, and so we may — on a weak moment — we might would do that."

When the octogenarian uses the term “boys", he’s referring to his sons. Marcus Smith, who was formerly president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, was also named CEO of SMI in February, one month before his father’s 88th birthday. He currently oversees the eight track properties — Charlotte, Bristol, Texas, Sonoma, New Hampshire, Las Vegas, Kentucky and Atlanta. According to the SMI website, total revenues for 2015 were $496.5 million.

Scott Smith is CEO, president and director of Bruton’s car empire — Sonic Automotive — a Fortune 500 company that recorded an annual total gross profit of $1.415 billion in 2015. Smith’s son David, also works at Sonic as the vice chairman and director.

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