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Bruton Smith Through the Years: A Timeline of Select Events in the Legendary Career of a Motorsports Pioneer

Wednesday, Jun 22 217

The legendary career of motorsports innovator and pioneer O. Bruton Smith spanned eight different decades. Below are some select highlights that Smith and Speedway Motorsports accomplished through the years that have forever reshaped the racing landscape.

1959: Bruton Smith and Curtis Turner broke ground on what would become the flagship facility for Speedway Motorsports – Charlotte Motor Speedway.

1960: Bruton Smith hosted the first-ever 600-mile NASCAR race at the newly built superspeedway.

1982: Bruton Smith founded Speedway Children’s Charities to support children in need through deserving non-profit organizations.

1984: First-of-their-kind condominiums suitable for year-round living were built outside of Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Turn 1.

1985: Charlotte Motor Speedway hosted the first NASCAR All-Star Race.

1988: The Speedway Club opened at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The restaurant and entertainment facility was the first high-end, fine-dining experience built at a race track.

1990: Speedway Motorsports acquired Atlanta Motor Speedway.

1992: Charlotte Motor Speedway hosted the first ever superspeedway race under the lights, a NASCAR All-Star Race aptly nicknamed “One Hot Night.”

1995: Speedway Motorsports became the first motorsports company traded publicly on the New York Stock Exchange.

1996: Speedway Motorsports acquired Bristol Motor Speedway and Sonoma Raceway.

1997: Bruton Smith completed construction of Texas Motor Speedway.

1998: Smith built and opened a new dragway tower at Thunder Valley, Bristol Motor Speedway’s iconic drag strip.

1999: Speedway Motorsports acquired Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

2006: Bruton Smith was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame.

2006: Charlotte Motor Speedway hosted the world premiere of the Disney-PIXAR movie CARS.

2006: Las Vegas Motor Speedway opened the innovative, fan-friendly Neon Garage.

2007: Speedway Motorsports acquired New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

2007: Bruton Smith was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.

2008: Speedway Motorsports acquired Kentucky Speedway.

2008: zMAX Dragway was constructed; it was the first-ever, four-lane all-concrete drag strip.

2011: Charlotte Motor Speedway debuted the world’s largest HDTV, a 16,000-square-foot “Speedway TV.”

2013: Texas Motor Speedway added its giant HDTV, “Big Hoss,” eclipsing Charlotte’s HDTV screen with a 22,700 square-foot screen.

2013: Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosted its first Electric Daisy Carnival music festival.

2016: “Colossus,” the world's largest outdoor, center-hung digital display was unveiled at Bristol Motor Speedway.

2016: Bristol Motor Speedway hosted the “Battle at Bristol,” setting a world record for the largest attendance (156,990) ever at a college football game. (Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee).

2016: Bruton Smith was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

2018: Charlotte Motor Speedway hosted its first-ever ROVAL race in the NASCAR Playoffs on an innovative road course-oval hybrid track.

2018: Las Vegas Motor Speedway completed construction to widen The Strip to four lanes and hosted the West Coast’s first-ever four-wide NHRA drag race.

2021: Bristol Motor Speedway hosted the NASCAR Cup Series on dirt for the first time in more than 50 years.

2021: Speedway Motorsports hosted NASCAR races for the first time at Circuit of The Americas outside of Austin, Texas.

2021: Speedway Motorsports acquired Nashville Superspeedway and Dover Motor Speedway.

2022: Atlanta Motor Speedway completed a resurfacing project with the highest degree of banking for an intermediate track at 28 degrees, bringing superspeedway racing to the 1.5-mile oval.


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