DECEMBER 31, 2003

George and the Frances moving on CART?

An Indiana judge has cleared away the first hurdles in the planned takeover of CART assets. Judge Frank Otte overruled attempts to slow down the process and thus torpedo the plans of Open Wheel Racing.

The CART lawyers argued that if there were delays there would be nothing left. The objections had been put forward by legal teams representing California Speedway and Road America, both of which have outstanding legal issues with CART.

Mike Hile, an attorney representing California Speedway said that he is also representing a group of investors which is interested in making a bid for the CART assets. The identity of this group remains unknown although Hile said the bid would come from a company called 88 Corp.

88 Corp is the owner of California Speedway and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the International Speedway Corporation. This is a leading promoter of motorsports activities in the United States, currently promoting more than 100 events annually. The Company owns and/or operates 12 motorsports facilities, including Daytona International Speedway in Florida; Talladega Superspeedway; Michigan International Speedway; Richmond International Raceway; California Speedway; Kansas Speedway; Phoenix International Raceway; Homestead-Miami Speedway; North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham; Darlington Raceway in South Carolina; Watkins Glen International in New York; and Nazareth Speedway in Pennsylvania. It also owns an interest in Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway near Chicago. In addition it owns and operates MRN Radio, the nation's largest independent sports radio network and the Daytona USA theme park in Daytona Beach, Florida. The company also owns major merchandising subsidiaries.

ISC is a publicly-traded company but is controlled by the France Family, the owners of NASCAR. It is also involved in another company called The Motorsport Alliance, a partnership between ISC, the Frances and Tony George, the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy Racing League, CART's major rival.