NASCAR’s merger with International Speedway Corporation (ISC) has been completed. On Friday, NASCAR announced ISC – which owns various tracks on the NASCAR schedules – will now operate under the NASCAR name. The merger had initially been announced in May. Financial service company Goldman Sachs helped facilitate the move.
“The merger of NASCAR and ISC represents a historic moment for our sport,” NASCAR head Jim France said. As part of the merger, he will work as Chairman and CEO. “There is much work ahead of us, but we’re pleased with the progress made to position our sport for success. Delivering for our race fans and partners is job number one and we look forward to doing that better than ever for years to come.”
Along with Speedway Motorsports, Inc. led by Bruton Smith, ISC currently operates twelve tracks on the Monster Energy Cup Series circuit: the flagship Daytona International Speedway, Auto Club Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, ISM Raceway, Kansas Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Richmond Raceway, Talladega Superspeedway, and Watkins Glen International.
These venues will join Iowa Speedway, which hosts the Xfinity and Gander Outdoors Truck Series, in being under NASCAR leadership. NASCAR also owns Sebring International Raceway and Road Atlanta, neither of which are on any of the stock car schedules but host sports car events.
ISC track presidents will report to Executive Vice President of Chief Operations and Sales Officer Daryl Wolfe. Lesa France will serve as Executive Vice Chair, while NASCAR President Steve Phelps will serve the same role for the new entity. Brian France, who was the former Chairman of NASCAR until his arrest in August 2018, had his ISC shares bought out.
“With great racing across all of our series, an exciting 2020 schedule on tap, and the Next Gen race car in development, we are better positioned than ever before to lead the sport into a new era of growth,” Phelps commented. “We have a strong, experienced leadership team in place with incredibly dedicated employees at every level throughout our organization. Our best days are ahead of us and our new organization is going to allow us to better deliver great racing to our fans everywhere.”
With track contracts set to expire in 2021, the ISC/NASCAR merger will presumably ease the difficulty in modifying the schedules. The Cup schedule, which has seen the same twenty-three tracks (including SMI and independently-owned circuits like Dover International Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Pocono Raceway) since 2011, will feature a revamp in 2020 but no host changes.