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A thumbnail sketch of America’s fastest-growing sport. The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is a family-owned and operated business venture that sanctions and governs multiple auto racing sports events. NASCAR is one of the most viewed professional sports in terms of television ratings in the United States. The 3 largest racing series sanctioned by NASCAR are the Sprint Cup Series, the Nationwide Series, and the Camping World Truck Series.

What is NASCAR?

The N A S C A R is the governing body of one of the most popular and fastest-growing professional sports in the United States. The body sanctions races and sets rules for 10 different auto racing divisions, including the Winston Cup, Busch Grand National, Craftsman Truck, Busch North, Featherlite Modified, Goody ’s Dash, Raybestos Northwest, Winston West, RE/Max Challenge and Hills Bros. All-Pro series. (Only the Winston Cup, Busch Grand National and Craftsman Truck series receive regular national TV exposure.)

What is the business structure of NASCAR?

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NASCAR began as a family business in Daytona Beach, Fla., and remains one today. In 1948,Bill France Sr. created the body as a way to develop a cohesive relationship between the regional dirt tracks and speedways across the United States. France also founded International Speedway Corporation (ISC), a company that owns speedways around the country. After France Sr.’s death, his sons took over the business: Bill Jr. became head of NASCAR and Jim the head of ISC. Today, the five-person governing board of NASCAR includes Bill France Jr. (son, chairman), Jim France (son, VP), Brian France (grandson, VP), Lesa France Kennedy (grandaughter, VP) and Mike Helton (president, the only non-France family member on the committee).

About half the tracks on the Winston Cup circuit are owned by ISC. The others are owned by Speedway Motor sports Inc.or are independently owned. NASCAR is now facing a lawsuit over its business practices. A minor shareholder in Speedway Motor sports Inc. has filed suit alleging that Texas Motor Speedway should by rights have a second Winston Cup race. He alleges TMS does not have a second race because ISC and NASCAR are basically one entity and therefore a monopoly.

38 race dates

19 ISC tracks

8 SMI tracks

11 independently owned or no majority shareholder

What are the main sources of revenue?

Television The 2002 season marked the second year of the ground-breaking $2.8 billion, six-year television arrangement with Fox, NBC, and Turner. (Source: Harvard Business School study)

Merchandising Retail sales of NASCAR-licensed merchandise grew from $80 million to $1.13 billion between 1990 and 2000. Using a basic future value formula, this translates into a 34 percent, compounded annual-growth rate.

What are stock cars?

Stock cars are cousins of the automobiles you and I drive every day. In the Winston Cup series, the four models of cars are the Ford Taurus, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Pontiac Grand Prix and Dodge Intrepid. Although these cars maintain roughly the same shape on the outside as those off the assembly line, on the inside they are very different —there is only one seat, there are no head lights, the battery is in the back right corner of the car (to help counterbalance the weight of the driver), there isn’t a key to start the car (just a switch to the left of the steering wheel) and the cars are capable of speeds of more than 200 mph. In fact, the interior of the car has practically nothing to do with street-legal cars of the same make. On the inside and on the roll cage, the cars are painted primer gray to help shield heat and fire from a driver

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