One of NASCAR’s most prominent families is considering joining a bid to buy the NFL Carolina Panthers, according to a report from WCNC TV.
Felix Sabates of Charlotte is putting together an ownership group, and he told the station that Bruton Smith and his son Marcus are interested in joining.
The Smiths and their company, Speedway Motorsports, own eight NASCAR tracks across the country, including Charlotte, Atlanta and Bristol.
Bruton Smith has been inducted into the NASCAR (2016) and International Motorsports (2017) halls of fame.
WCNC also reported that NASCAR CEO Brian France would be part of the group, but France (via a NASCAR press release) denied the report.
This isn’t the first time the Smiths have been linked to the Panthers. Forbes put together a list of potential suitors with enough cash to get a deal done and Bruton Smith was mentioned as a potential buyer for the NFL franchise.
Another name thrown around in the Forbes’ article was Joe Gibbs. Besides being a former NFL head coach, Gibbs currently controls the second most valuable NASCAR team. Forbes has estimated JGR to be worth $225 million, making it second only to Hendrick Motorsports. The only issue with the idea of Gibbs potentially buying the team is that he would need partners to be able to afford it.
If a NASCAR owner does buy the Panthers, there would be some exciting cross-promotional opportunities coming to Bank of America Stadium.