One year ago, Championship Auto Racing Teams (MPH), or CART, became the first sports league to be publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The price of its initial public offering was $16.
"The thing behind the IPO was that it was an opportunity for us to get some capital in the business," says Andrew Craig, president of CART.
CART drove away with $80 million in capital and its stock price has racked up a 60 percent gain. Motor sports stocks outpaced the Dow by 10 percent last year.
Some of the other stocks in the group include:
- International Speedway (ISCA)
- Speedway Motorsports (TRK)
- Penske Motorsports (SPWY)
"People are discovering what a very strong franchise motor sports has become. And it looks like it's going to be as strong franchise within a few years as any of the major sports that people watch every weekend on their couches, " says William Scovin, research analyst at Landenberg Thalmann.
The typical motor sports enthusiast is loyal, middle class; nearly half are female. A dramatic expansion in cable and network television coverage should help expand that demographic.
While there are drives to build tracks near major metropolitan areas all over the country, there are pitfalls as well.
"We don't think it's two years from now, but at some point the growth will not be accelerating as fast as it has been," Scovin says.
But many analysts say these stocks are a good long-term play. If you decide to catch a ride, buy them individually through a brokerage firm, or check out the few mutual funds dedicated to motor sports, which can be found on the internet.