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Nascar closes $2bn merger with International Speedway Corp

TALLADEGA, ALABAMA - OCTOBER 14: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Hazelnut Toyota, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr, driver of the #17 SunnyD Ford, lead the field during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 14, 2019 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Nascar has completed its $2bn (€1.8bn) acquisition of track operator International Speedway Corporation, putting both entities under the sole control of the France family.

The new company will remain based in Daytona Beach, Florida, and continue under the Nascar brand.

Jim France will serve as its chairman and chief executive officer, with his niece Lesa France Kennedy as executive vice-chair. Steve Phelps has been appointed president and will oversee all operations of the merged entity.

“The merger of Nascar and ISC represents a historic moment for our sport,” Jim France said in a statement. “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.”

The merger means that ISC will cease to be a public company. As a result, financial statements will no longer be subject to public scrutiny and long-term strategic moves can be made without having to answer to outside investors.

It also gives the France family the ability to make decisions quicker, such as radically changing its schedule, which has been considered for 2021. There is also the prospect of staff redundancies, with the likelihood that marketing or sales operations could be streamlined to prevent duplication.

Notably, the merger also makes a potential sale of Nascar assets more likely. Last year reports emerged that the France family was looking to sell the series.

It is unclear what the transaction means for Nascar’s other main track operator Speedway Motorsports.

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