Racing briefs

Associated Press • Mar 14, 2007 at 10:33 AM

Darlington hosts national anthem contest; winner to perform at May 10 race

Bruton Smith among racing names on Forbes' recent list of wealthiest people

• Five men involved in U.S. auto racing are listed among Forbes Magazine's annual list of the world's richest people.

The richest of them is John Menard Jr., who owns a chain of home improvement stores and is worth $5.2 billion, according to Forbes. Menard, whose son Paul is a rookie in NASCAR Nextel Cup, has been a team owner in the IRL, owns a racing engine company and is also an associate sponsor for Dale Earnhardt Inc., the team his son drives for.

Next on the list is Roger Penske with $2.2 billion. Penske, an entrepreneur who made most of his money in truck leasing and car dealerships, is a longtime owner in both open-wheel cars and stock cars. His teams have won 14 Indianapolis 500s and more than 150 races in open wheel and NASCAR.

Bruton Smith, chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, which owns and operates six NASCAR tracks, is listed by Forbes with $1.6 billion.

Bill France Jr. and younger brother Jim France, part of NASCAR's founding family, are both on the list at $1.5 billion.

Darlington hosts national anthem contest; winner to perform at May 10 race

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• For anyone who has dreamed of standing in front of a big crowd and singing the national anthem, here's your chance. Darlington Raceway is hosting a national anthem singing contest this month.

The winner will perform the anthem before the start of the United States Auto Club Silver Crown Showdown at the South Carolina track on May 10. After reviewing the submitted anthems, track officials will narrow the field to three finalists, who will be invited to Darlington for the Dodge Avenger 500 Media Day in April. All three will perform the anthem at Media Day, and NASCAR Nextel Cup star Kasey Kahne will select the winner.

The finalists will receive tickets to the USAC race and the grand prize winner, in addition to performing the anthem, will receive tickets and prerace pit passes for the Cup race on May 12.

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