O. Bruton Smith is one of the few NASCAR visionaries that embodied the sport as it is and helped it to grow and become the premier stock car racing series in the world, just because of his pure love for the sport. Bruton Smith, who hails from North Carolina farm country, died as a NASCAR Hall of Famer, a visionary, a philanthropist, and one of the best race promotors NASCAR had in its history and growth to prominence.
Bruton Smith though started his racing journey as a race car driver at the age of 17 after he brought his first race car changed his profession and became a race promotor at the age of 18, as he formed the Speedway Motorsports which later went on to become the first Motorsport outfit to be listed in the New York stock exchange. The Sonic Automotive company founder was also the builder of Charlotte Motor Speedway which hosts the iconic Coco-Cola 600.
Over the years from his time as a race organizer to promotor, and then to track owner the veteran went through a lot of struggles but his never giving up attitude was more than enough for him to rise above the tides as he even cares less about getting in feuds with Bill France and his son in bringing the NASCAR races to his facilities. The legend owns and operates racing facilities in Atlanta; Bristol, Tennessee; Charlotte; Las Vegas; New Hampshire; Sonoma, California; Texas; Dover, Delaware; Nashville, Tennessee; North Wilkesboro, North Carolina; and Kentucky.
Over his decades of service with NASCAR, he has hosted races for other organizations n his tracks such as the Indy racing series and NHRA. More than being a businessman the 2016 Class of Hall of Famer was also a philanthropist who gave more attention towards the upliftment of children in need as he made a number of charity efforts with his Speedway Motorsports Charity initiatives spending millions for the course, all of and legacy which will continue with his son Marcus Smith.
NASCAR Statement on Bruton Smith’s death
Following the death of the legend NASCAR CEO, Jim France has come forth to react to the loss saying Bruton Smith is a visionary who understood the fact that race fans always are and always will be the lifeblood of NASCAR. He added that Bruton built his race tracks employing a simple philosophy of giving race fans a memory they can cherish for a lifetime. He went on to point out that Bruton Smith helped NASCAR to grow to become one of the most popular and preeminent spectator sports.
“Race fans are, and always will be, the lifeblood of NASCAR. Few knew this truth better than Bruton Smith. Bruton built his race tracks employing a simple philosophy: give race fans memories they will cherish for a lifetime. In doing so, Bruton helped grow NASCAR‘s popularity as the preeminent spectator sport,” Jim France said.
Jim France went on to say that Bruton Smith’s legacy and vision inspired many individuals and acknowledged that his fan-first mentality now lives through his son Marcus Smith. He went on to extend his condolences to the family and friends of Bruton Smith on behalf of the France family, who owns and runs NASCAR, and the whole of the NASCAR reiterated Smith was a giant of the sport.
“His vision and legacy inspired many, and his fan-first mentality remains today through his son Marcus. On behalf of the France family and all of NASCAR, I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Bruton Smith, a giant of our sport,” Jim France added.