Class of 2007
A car salesman and local auto racing promoter in the Charlotte, N.C. area, Bruton Smith partnered with stock car legend Curtis Turner to build Charlotte Motor Speedway. The track opened on June 19, 1960, with a 600-mile NASCAR race and has continuously set the standard for motorsports entertainment. Smith’s innovative style brought many never-before-seen amenities, including condominiums, plush VIP suites and a country-club style restaurant that overlooks the speedway. He also added a revolutionary lighting system that made it possible to host the first night race on a modern superspeedway. Smith purchased Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1990 and founded Speedway Motorsports, Inc. in 1994 by consolidating his motorsports holdings. In February 1995, SMI became the first motorsports company to trade on the New York Stock Exchange. The company grew to include: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway. In addition to his motorsports interests, Smith built one of the nation’s largest automobile dealership groups and founded Speedway Children’s Charities which aids local organizations that improve the quality of life for children.