Bruton Smith and Frances solidify their controlling interests

Bruton Smith, smiling all the way to the bank

The ownership structure and executive salaries for the two major NASCAR track ownership groups were recently filed as part of proxy statements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

According to the filings, little has changed in who owns what as the France family controls International Speedway Corp. and Bruton Smith controls Speedway Motorsports Inc. Both entities have slightly increased just how much control they have in the last year, however.

Smith owns 69.8 percent of SMI voting stock (worth an estimated $447 million), compared with 68.8 percent a year ago. That includes what Smith owns in his Sonic Financial Corporation, which owns 57 percent of the SMI stock.

About 43 percent of Smith’s shares have been pledged as security for loans. Smith’s eight tracks host 13 Sprint Cup events (including the Sprint All-Star Race) in 2011.

ISC’s 12 facilities will host a total of 20 Cup events (including the Budweiser Shootout, a non-points race) this year, and the France Family Group owns 70.3 percent of voting stock in ISC (worth an estimated $568 million), compared with 69.6 percent a year ago.

The France Family Group consists of 46 entities – several members of the France family, which operates NASCAR, as well as several companies they control.

While the France Family Group votes as a one and therefore controls the operation of the company, the proxy statement breaks down how much individuals within the group and other top shareholders own.

Jim France owns 47.8 percent of the voting stock while his sister-in-law Betty Jane France (widow of Bill France Jr.) controls 21.4 percent of the voting stock.

Lesa France Kennedy, who serves as the company’s CEO, owns 3.9 percent of the voting stock while NASCAR Chairman Brian France owns 1.9 percent of voting stock.

As CEO, France Kennedy earned a compensation package of $937,356 in 2010, compared with $769,780 in 2009, which was the year that she became CEO in June. The compensation package includes salary, bonus, incentives, perks and the value of stock options and restricted stock granted during the year.

Also disclosed was that ISC gave former Chief Operating Officer Roger VanDerSnick a $456,330 severance payment when it eliminated his position in September.

According to SMI’s proxy statement, Chairman and CEO Bruton Smith made $1.776 million in 2010 (compared with $1.7088 million in 2009) while President Marcus Smith, his son, had a compensation package of $1.622 million (compared with $1.406 million in 2009).

At its annual meeting of shareholders April 6, ISC is expected to re-elect Jim France, Brian France and former General Motors President Lloyd Reuss to its board of directors. CenterBank of Jacksonville President Raymond Mason Jr. won’t return to the board and his seat will not be filled.

SMI’s annual meeting is scheduled for April 20, SMI Chief Financial Officer William Brooks, former First Union Corporation executive Mark Gambill and former DaimlerChrysler President James Holden are expected to be re-elected to the board.

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