Bruton Smith, founder and chairman of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: TRK) and Sonic Automotive, Inc. (NYSE: SAH), was honored Thursday night as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year in the Carolinas during a black-tie gala at The Westin hotel in Charlotte.

Smith was selected from among 24 finalists by an independent judging panel comprised of area business, academic and civic leaders.

"This is a tremendous honor and I accept it on behalf of our more than 16,000 employees who transform the vision into reality," Smith said. "I truly enjoy what I do everyday. This is not a job, it's not work. For me, it's fun."

Smith is now eligible for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2006 national awards program. Winners in several national categories, as well as the overall winner, will be announced Nov. 18 in Palm Springs, Calif.

Celebrating its 20th year, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards program recognizes the leaders and visionaries who are creating and building world-class businesses. Awards are given to entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

About Speedway Motorsports: Speedway Motorsports is a leading marketer and promoter of Motorsports entertainment in the United States. The company owns and operates the following premier facilities: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway. The company provides souvenir merchandising services through its SMI Properties subsidiaries and Motorsports Authentics joint venture, and manufacturers and distributes smaller-scale, modified racing cars through its 600 Racing subsidiary. SMI also owns Performance Racing Network which broadcasts syndicated motorsports programming to over 730 radio stations nationwide. For information, visit the company's web site at

About Sonic Automotive: Sonic Automotive, Inc., a Fortune 300 company based in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest automotive retailers in the United States, operating 176 franchises and 38 collision repair centers. Sonic can be reached on the web at