CONCORD, NC (WBTV) - Without question, NASCAR has seen better times, but could the combination of lower television ratings and fewer fans in the stands put the sport in play for a new business model?
During his time inside the front office of Charlotte Motor Speedway, Humpy Wheeler was one of the driving forces that took Speedway Motorsports to Wall Street.
"Something's got to motivate the Smith family and the France family to sell what they have, and usually that's pretty easy to do - and that's called money," Wheeler said.
Having worked with Bruton Smith and knowing the landscape surrounding Brian France and his NASCAR family, Wheeler thinks that a union between the sport's two best-known organizations could be a marriage attracting new investors.
"If somebody says we want to buy this thing called stock car racing because we can take it up a notch, because they're thinking like everybody else, and right now the thing that would vault this entity know as known as NASCAR to an investor is growth," Wheeler said.
Former sportswriter for The Charlotte Observer, Tom Sorenson, understands the dynamic of a sport that he feels a rebranding effort is needed.
"There are still pockets where this is still a number one sport, and you need someone to come in and find a way to sell it. Find a way to sell it to consumers," Sorenson said.
But what is required in selling the sport to a fan base that has its share of challenges? And those who have seen the stock car racing thrive aren't ruling out new winds of change.
Humpy Wheeler offers both a question and answer.
"Is Wall Street ready for this?" he said. "Yes."
A spokesperson with Speedway Motorsports Incorporated had no comment on Friday.
A spokesperson from NASCAR told WBTV - "not for sale."