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Bruton Smith

O. Bruton Smith, chairman and chief executive officer of Speedway Motorsports Inc., bought his first race car at the age of 17 and a year later promoted his first stock car race in Midland, N.C.

  • Inducted: 2016
  • Position:Executive

Vitals

Hometown

Oakboro, NC

Born

03/02/1927

Died

06/22/2022

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Helped build Charlotte Motor Speedway

Chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc. taking them public in 1995 becoming the first motorsports company traded in the New York Stock Exchange

An Innovator

O. Bruton Smith bought his first race car at the age of 17 and a year later promoted his first stock car race in Midland, N.C. Smith’s early endeavors included operating the National Stock Car Racing Association—seen as an early competitor to NASCAR—and building Charlotte Motor Speedway.

CMS became the foundation of Speedway Motorsports Inc., which currently owns eight NASCAR tracks hosting 12 NASCAR Cup Series events, the NASCAR All-Star Race and additional high-profile motorsports activities. Smith took SMI public in 1995 to become the first motorsports company to be traded at the New York Stock Exchange. Smith founded Sonic Automotive, a group of several hundred auto dealerships across the United States. Smith was active in child-related causes with his philanthropic foundation Speedway Children’s Charities. He was inducted into the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame and National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame, both in 2006; and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2007.