The track is owned by Monterey County, which contracted the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula to handle its operation. With attendance dwindling and after losing the MotoGP race preciously held there, however, the county board grew frustrated with SCRAMP and approached the International Speedway Corporation – a company owned by the France family that also controls NASCAR – over the prospect of taking control of the track. Although SCRAMP reportedly initially cooperated with the idea, it subsequently launched a public campaign to keep the ISC out and the track under local management.
Now the Monterey Herald reports that the ISC has notified county officials that, after entering an initial 90-day due-diligence period, it will not in the end submit a final proposal to take over management of the circuit. One of the reasons reportedly cited by ISC executive vice president Craig Neeb in a letter to county administrator Lew Bauman is the lack of cooperation from SCRAMP.
That doesn’t mean, however, that ISC won’t make another run at it. With the closed-door process to attract ISC now apparently concluded unsuccessfully, the county is expected to move into a public tender process. And the International Speedway Corporation could return to the scene once that process is open to make another bid.
If the corporation ultimately took over management of Laguna Seca, it would join a long list of racetracks across America under the ISC’s control. Most of those sites that the ISC runs are oval speedways like Daytona, Homestead, and Talladega. However, the corporation also owns Watkins Glen road course in upstate New York as well as the Route 66 drag strip in Joliet, IL.