Speedway owner backtracks slightly on second NASCAR race in Las Vegas

Bruton Smith backtracked slightly about possibly moving the second NASCAR race in Charlotte to Las Vegas, but made it clear he’s unhappy with the political situation in North Carolina.

On Monday, he told a Charlotte TV station the chances of moving the October Sprint Cup and Nationwide races to Las Vegas were 70 percent. Such a move would mean Las Vegas Motor Speedway would be home to a Chase for the Sprint Cup playoff race.

“The ‘done deal’ report by WBTV regarding moving a race is false,” Smith said in a statement Tuesday. “No final decision has been made regarding any race date move, and I have not discussed this with NASCAR.”

Smith went on to tout the $100 million investment made at Charlotte Motor Speedway by his Speedway Motorsports Inc. over the past six years. Speedway Motorsports also owns Las Vegas Motor Speedway and six other tracks.

“It’s frustrating to think about the future and consider that the local government doesn’t share the same excitement about Charlotte Motor Speedway that our fans do,” Smith said. “The Cabarrus County politicians may say nice things to the media, but raising taxes does not support the tourism business, the area economy or companies trying to grow.”

LVMS hosts Sprint Cup and Nationwide races each March and has been on the NASCAR circuit since 1998. The organization also placed its Champions Week postseason awards ceremony in Las Vegas in 2009.

Also, LVMS is home to the NASCAR Camping World Truck series each fall. The Smith’s 350 is scheduled for Sept. 28.

The dragsters from the NHRA visit the speedway in the spring and fall each year. The NHRA Nationals are Oct. 24 this year.

Contact Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2914.