Speedway Motorsports Inc. executive chairman Bruton Smith has been undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma this summer, SMI announced Friday.
Smith, 88, who will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2016, is at Bristol Motor Speedway for this weekend’s races, including Saturday’s Irwin Tools Night Race.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a treatable form of cancer. Marcus Smith, CEO and president of SMI, said his father went to the doctor after not feeling well last spring.
“We knew something was wrong and he just wasn’t feeling right,” Marcus Smith said. “We went to the doctor and did a lot of tests and they made a diagnosis of lymphoma. According to doctors, it’s the kind you want to have. It’s the most treatable. We were encouraged by that.”
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Bruton Smith had a goal of feeling well enough to attend race weekend at Bristol, an SMI track (Charlotte Motor Speedway is another track).
He’s responded really well to treatment even beyond expectations by doctors.
“The doctors said I probably needed a bit of rest and I got that,” Bruton Smith said. “And I probably needed it. I could depend on Marcus. SMI can easily do with my absence. I hate to miss any of our races. It’s kind of heartbreaking, really. I like to be there to see what’s going on.”
Marcus Smith said doctors have given Bruton Smith a good prognosis.
“The really good news is, through the process, treatment and ups and downs and having Bristol as a goal to be healthy by, we’re back” at Bristol, Marcus Smith said. “The last word from the doctor was things have been really good. He’s progressed beyond expectations they all had and we’re very thankful about that. In short, he’s responded really well to treatment even beyond expectations by doctors.”
Bruton Smith went to the doctor after not feeling well last spring.