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NASCAR makes offer to purchase International Speedway Corp.

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NASCAR announced Friday that it has submitted a non-binding offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock of International Speedway Corp. not already owned by the controlling shareholders of NASCAR. The intention is to combine ISC and NASCAR as one privately run group of companies led by the France family.

NASCAR has made a bid for a cash purchase price of $42.00 per share. International Speedway Corporation’s stock closed at $39.06 on Friday. The stock price was $35.18 on Oct. 11. The stock has been as high as $49.95 in the last year and as low as $35.12 in that same period.

“In a highly competitive sports and entertainment landscape, a more unified strategic approach is important to our future growth,” said Jim France, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, NASCAR, who also is ISC’s Chairman of the Board. “We believe the industry requires structural changes to best position the sport for long-term success and this offer represents a positive step forward in that direction.”

The France Family Group controlled approximately 74.2 percent of the combined voting power of the outstanding stock of the company as of Aug. 31.

NASCAR has retained Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC as its financial advisor and Baker Botts as its legal counsel in connection with the negotiation and consummation of a mutually acceptable transaction, and BDT & Company is serving as financial advisor to the France family.

NASCAR’s offer will be reviewed by a special committee of independent ISC board members advised by independent legal and financial advisors. In the interim, NASCAR and ISC will continue to operates as independent entities.

That committee will have J. Hyatt Brown, Larry Aiello, Jr., Larree Renda and William Graves, each of whom is an independent director of the Company, to act on behalf of the Company to consider this proposal.  Brown, ISC’s lead independent director, will serve as the group’s chairman.

“My initial reaction, I think that could eventually lead to flexibility for a schedule,” seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson said of NASCAR’s bid. “Do you shorten the schedule? There’re all these questions. And I think that unity and that collaboration, or those two entities combined would be a step in that direction. It would hopefully open those doors to let those conversations really happen and progress be made. That’s pure speculation, of course, on my part, but that’s where my first thoughts go.”

International Speedway Corp. owns 12 tracks that host NASCAR Cup races, including Daytona International Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Homestead-Miami Speedway and ISM Raceway, where the NASCAR’s three national series are racing this weekend.

 

 

NASCAR mourns Kobe Bryant

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Joining their brethren in other sports, the NASCAR world took to social media upon learning the tragic news of the death of Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant, killed Sunday morning in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Bryant had met a number of NASCAR drivers in his career, including Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano. They were among a number of NASCAR notables who took to social media to mourn Bryant:

 

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Chad Knaus and wife expecting second child

Photo courtesy Brooke Knaus official Instagram account
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Seven-time NASCAR Cup champion crew chief Chad Knaus and wife Brooke are expecting their second child.

Brooke made the announcement Saturday on her Instagram account.

The couple, already parents to one-year-old son Kip, will soon be adding a daughter to their growing family.

Brooke Knaus’s Instagram post said the baby is due in July.

Kip figured prominently in the baby revelation, coming at the end of mom and dad’s ski run while vacationing in Telluride, Colorado:

 

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Kyle Larson flips, misses finals of Australia’s biggest sprint car race

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Kyle Larson’s hope of following up last week’s Chili Bowl win with a triumph in Australia’s prestigious Grand Annual Sprint Car Classic fell far short Sunday.

Larson’s bid to race his way into the 24-car finals of the three-day race at Premier Speedway in Warrnambool, Australia, ended when he flipped (uninjured) on the opening lap of a last-chance qualifying heat race earlier in the evening.

Instead of being one of the featured drivers in the Classic’s 40-lap finale – the largest and most popular sprint car race of the year in the land down under – Larson was left to watch the event from the pits and cheer on Dyson Motorsport teammate and fellow American Carson Macedo.

Even that didn’t go very well, as Macedo flipped his own sprint car on the first lap of the Classic, resulting in a last-place finish. The highest finishing American was Cory Eliason, who ended up fourth.

Meanwhile, it was an all-Australian podium, with James McFadden winning the Classic for the second time in his career, followed by James Veal and Kerry Madsen.

In eight days, Larson went from capturing what he called the biggest win ever of his racing career on all levels – the Chili Bowl in his 13th try last Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma – to nothing but bad luck and utter frustration throughout his Australian journey.

Larson’s first race on Wednesday in the King’s Challenge at Borderline Speedway was rained out.

Then, in the first night of the Classic on Friday, Larson wrecked heavily in his first heat race, including flipping (he was uninjured). After his team repaired his car, Larson went back on the track, only to suffer a blown engine that knocked him out of contention to race in that evening’s feature event.

After not being on the schedule to race in Night 2 of the Classic on Saturday, Larson had one last chance to make Sunday’s featured championship event.

A total of 80 drivers battled it out in the B, C and D Mains for the eight remaining spots in the A Main, but Larson would end up not being one of those — as can be seen in the second line of the following tweet by his team:

Larson now returns to the United States to prepare for the Daytona 500 on February 16.

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Kyle Busch feeling like ‘the new guy’ during his Rolex 24 debut at Daytona

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Kyle Busch was looking forward to his first stint at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The two-time Cup champion was less enthused about his second turn behind the wheel in the IMSA season opener. Busch will climb back into the No. 14 Lexus RCF GT3 at 2 a.m. Sunday, just past the midpoint of the endurance race classic at Daytona International Speedway.

“That’s going to suck, yeah,” Busch deadpanned. “That’s exactly when I told them I did not want to run, and I got it.  Thank you very much.

“(I’m) the new guy.  I pulled the short straw.”

Click here to read more about how Busch felt about his AIM Vasser Sullivan car.