The country’s current economic woes are hitting one disadvantaged group the hardest - billionaire sports figures. We already know of the financial misfortune of T. Boone Pickens, the Oklahoma State Cowboys benefactor ready to pledge $165 million to his alma mater - had he not just lost a bundle in the market. But Boone can take some comfort knowing he’s not the only rich sports guy who’s having money problems.
(”Hey buddy, how ’bout a handout for a billionaire NASCAR owner who’s down on his luck?“)
NASCAR big wig Bruton Smith also appears to be on the fast track to the poorhouse. The speedway & auto retail owner has apparently taken a huge bath over Wall Street’s woes. How much money has Smith seen gone down the drain? It appears Bruton is out … ONE BILLION DOLLARS! (places pinky at corner of mouth)
THAT’S RACIN’ crunches the crumbling numbers:
As founder, chairman and chief executive of Sonic Automotive, Smith, 81, owns more than 12 million shares in the Charlotte-based company, one of the nation’s largest auto retailers. In the past year, the value of those shares has plummeted 87 percent, costing him more than $268 million.
Smith also is chairman and chief executive of Speedway Motorsports, which owns Lowe’s Motor Speedway and six other major tracks. His roughly 29 million shares in the Concord-based company have declined in value by more than 64 percent, erasing more than $711 million.
Put those losses together, and holdings worth more than $1.4 billion last November now check in at about $434 million.
Do the math, and that comes out to … um … let’s see … divide by pi … carry the 1 … that comes out to around $966 million, give or take a buck.
Upon news of his financial freefall, Smith was “unavailable for comment” on Wednesday. Bruton was probably busy tying together a hangman’s noose, or searching for just the right spot on the ledge to make his jump.
Or maybe not. THAT’S RACIN’ further explains that Smith’s losses were “on paper“, and that he wouldn’t blow any dough unless he sold any of his shares.
Furthermore, Smith apparently also has holdings “not publicly disclosed“. You know - Swiss bank accounts, ownership in porn companies, that sort of thing. (Not that we’re claiming Bruton has any money tied up in Zurich banks or BDSM films.)
So, guess we shouldn’t feel too bad for poor ol’ Brut. Still, it would be a nice gesture if all of you would say a little prayer for Mr. Smith to get back on his feet, right before you dig in to your 17th consecutive meal of ramen noodles & tap water.