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Racing briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 23, 2001


Analysts worried by race stocks

With the death of Dale Earnhardt, analysts worried about the impact of sinking fan support are keeping close tabs on shares of International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports Inc.

Shares of International Speedway, which owns Daytona International Speedway and several other U.S. auto racing tracks, fell 31 cents Wednesday to $41.31 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. They rebounded just less than a cent, or 1.7 percent, Thursday.

On Tuesday, the first trading day after Earnhardt's death and the Presidents' Day holiday, International Speedway shares fell as much as 7.2 percent before closing down 2 percent.

Shares of Speedway Motorsports, which owns Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte and several other tracks, fell $1.29, or 5 percent, on Wednesday to $22.75 on the New York Stock Exchange. The decline came on top of a 5 percent drop Tuesday.

PRESIDENTIAL CONDOLENCES: President Bush expressed sadness at Earnhardt's death and sent longtime friend and aide Joe Allbaugh to attend a memorial service Thursday.

"I am saddened by the untimely loss of this American legend and want to express my deepest sympathy to his family, friends and fans," Bush said in a statement.

"Dale was an American icon who made great contributions to his sport," the president said. "Dale's legacy will live on for millions of Americans. He was an inspiration to many."

Bush, who counted Earnhardt as a friend, sent his condolences to Earnhardt's widow, Teresa, on Sunday.

IOWA LOTTERY: An Iowa lottery game featuring Earnhardt will go forward.

Iowa Lottery officials said they will release the "Fast Car Cash" game April 23, featuring five NASCAR auto racing stars -- including Earnhardt and his son, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

PAYBACK: Sportsbook.com, an online betting service based in St. Johns, Antigua, refunded all wagers on Earnhardt at the Daytona 500 and in future races.

CART: Ten years after economic and logistical problems doomed a downtown street race in Denver, a partnership group that includes Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillett announced the Denver Grand Prix will return to the CART circuit beginning Labor Day weekend 2002. Stan Kronke, owner of the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and Pepsi Center, also is part of the tentative seven-year contract that includes a five-year option.

FORMULA ONE: Fiat SpA's Ferrari team extended a sponsorship agreement with Philip Morris Inc. until the end of the 2006 season, when a ban on tobacco advertising in the sport begins.

TNN CLOSES STORES: TNN, a cable channel under the Viacom umbrella, is closing its 11 NASCAR Thunder Stores during the next six weeks. TNN has run the stores, mostly in the Southeast, under a NASCAR license since 1996, selling NASCAR clothing and memorabilia. About 60 people will lose their jobs.

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