CAMBRIDGE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP/WOOD) — NASCAR is buying International Speedway in a deal worth about $2 billion.
International Speedway Corp. owns some of America’s most well known car racing facilities including the Daytona International Speedway and in Florida, where the company is based, and the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. It also owns the Michigan International Speedway off US-12 in Lenawee County’s Cambridge and Columbia townships, near Brooklyn.
The companies said Wednesday that deal is expected to close this year.
The deal comes a year after reports suggested the France family, known as the “first family” of NASCAR racing, was looking to sell it. Reports that have not been specifically addressed by the current leadership, including Lesa France Kennedy, an executive vice president and the CEO of International Speedway Corp.
NASCAR late last year began acquiring the remaining public stock in International Speedway, which owns a majority of the NASCAR-sanctioned tracks. Layoffs began after the start of the year and many longtime employees, some who had started with the company under Bill France Jr., were let go.
NASCAR could, at minimum, be seeking investors. The silence has only fueled speculation.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR MIS
MIS President Rick Brenner couldn’t comment on the plan, but remains positive about NASCAR’s involvement with the Michigan raceway.
“NASCAR is the sanctioning body, and they provide the races and the talent and the overseeing of all the races that go on and they bring us the best drivers in the world. And this year they’ve introduced a new aero package for our races, so the cars will be a lot closer together, a lot more passing and bumping. So it should make for an exciting time. And we’re fortunate to have it, and look forward to continuing to have it here in Michigan,” he said Wednesday.
MIS is a couple weeks away from the start of race season, but already has plenty of fun activities planned for fans and families.
“We’ve intentionally over the past few years started to align things to if you want to go, if you want church and yoga, go over here, if you want paint and foam all night, go over here, right? So we’ve got a little something for everybody,” Brenner said.
Tickets start at $39. For kids ages 12 and younger, pit passes are free and admission is free Friday and Saturday, and half-price on Sunday.
“If you haven’t come out, come out. Because there’s magicians walking around, there’s stuff for the kids, there’s kid zones, like I said, church. It’s a great value. But you’ve got to feel those cars in your, you know you’ve got to feel them in your chest and experience it to really appreciate it,” said Brenner.