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SBD/Issue 163/Leagues & Governing Bodies
Ferko Lawsuit Settled As Texas And Phoenix Gain Cup Races
Published May 14, 2004
|Texas Motor Speedway Set To Host
“Chase For NASCAR Nextel Cup” Race
As expected, as part of the settlement of the Francis Ferko antitrust lawsuit, NASCAR announced Friday that new Nextel Cup race dates have been sanctioned at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) and Phoenix Int'l Raceway (PIR). TMS' new event will be held November 6 as part of the ten-race "Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup." PIR's new race will be a night race, Saturday, April 23. TMS retains its April 17 date, while Phoenix retains the next-to-last slot on the schedule, November 13. North Carolina Speedway will not be on the schedule after this season. Darlington Raceway now will have one date on the schedule, with the track's fall race moving from November to Saturday night, May 7. California Speedway will have the first of its two events on February 27, one week after the Daytona 500 the date previously held by North Carolina Speedway. California's other race will remain on Labor Day weekend (NASCAR).
DETAILS: In order to complete the settlement, Speedway Motorsports will purchase North Carolina Speedway from ISC for $100.4M. The settlement releases ISC and NASCAR from all claims related to the litigation. ISC also will acquire Martinsville Speedway, which annually hosts two Nextel Cup races, for $192M. The purchase will be funded in part by proceeds from the sale of North Carolina Speedway. Martinsville is privately owned, and the France family, which controls over 60% of the voting interest in ISC, indirectly owns 50% of the facility (ISC).
FRENCH CONNECTION: NASCAR Chair & CEO Brian France met the media at Richmond today to comment on the settlement and schedule changes. France, on pulling races out of traditional Southeastern markets: "We're disappointed that the events didn't work as well as they worked in California and other markets. I would say that there's plenty of good NASCAR racing right here in Richmond and in the Southeast. I mentioned Daytona, Charlotte, Atlanta, Bristol and Martinsville."
|Phoenix Gets Second Date In Effort
To Increase NASCAR’s Visibility
GOING WEST: France, on advantages of Western markets: "I don't think it's any secret that the demand is there, the population is there, the race fans are there and we're going to take our events there. ... Phoenix, the Dallas market and the [L.A.] market are huge markets. They're under-served. We've proven that. Texas will prove that."
TELEVISION: France, on the new schedule's impact the next TV deal: "I think it makes it a lot better. We've consulted with our TV partners - as we are expected to do and as we always would - to make sure they're comfortable with the direction they're going, and they are. So I would tell you that all these moves obviously we think help us in the long run to grow the sport" (THE DAILY).
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