4:49 PM ET

One of the biggest track owners and most successful promoter in the history of auto racing has died. There was a man who was 95 years old.

Natural causes were cited as the reason for his death.

Marcus, the current president and CEO, paid tribute to his father on social media. The post said that he was thankful to be a dad and to have an amazing dad.

Race fans are the glue that holds NASCAR together. Jim France said that Bruton Smith was the best at knowing this. Bruton built his race tracks using a simple philosophy and giving face fans memories that will last a lifetime. NASCAR's popularity grew as a result of Bruton's actions.

Ollen Bruton Smith was the youngest of nine children and was born on a farm in Oakboro, 30 miles east of Charlotte. He bought his first race car at 17 and watched his first race when he was 8 years old.

I was supposed to be a race car driver. Smith said that his career did not last long after he learned to drive. I stopped driving because you couldn't fight your mom.

Smith went from promoting his first race at age 18 to becoming one of the biggest stock car racers in the world. He founded a company that was the first in the industry to trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

In Georgia, Tennessee, Concord, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Sonoma, California, Fort Worth, Texas, and Delaware, the tracks host a variety of racing events.

Bruton Smith, a NASCAR Hall of Famer and one of the series' most eccentric and successful promoters, has died at 95. Bob Leverone/NASCAR/Getty Images

NASCAR races this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway, a track that was bought last year.

Smith said that his parents told him what work was all about. Even though I didn't think so at the time, that gift was still a gift. Many people don't have that gift because they didn't work. It's what you do if you're on a farm. Everything is labor intensive.

A number of subsidiaries are owned and operated by the company. Smith founded Sonic automotive in 1997 and took it public 11 months later, which made it a Fortune 500 company.

Smith was on the ground floor when stock car racing became popular. Smith was appointed by a committee of frustrated racers and car owners who wanted to promote races.

The first permanent Smith's facility was built in 1959 with the help of partners. The longest race in NASCAR history took place in 1960. The Coca-Cola 600 is one of the crown jewels of the NASCAR calendar.

State-of-the-art facilities that embraced the fan experience were built by Smith. High-definition video screens and fine dining are offered at his tracks.

I enjoy racing. Smith stated in 2015 that he wanted to contribute more. We talk about fan friendly. I think it's a motivator for me to do more. I like making contributions to the sport.

He battled the NASCAR leadership for years trying to bring elite Cup Series races to his properties. Smith, with his gold-framed shaded sunglasses and wild sport coats, never backed down despite the fact that the two largest operators of racetracks rarely saw eye to eye.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. said thatBruton's contribution to stock car racing is difficult to measure. Growth and opportunities were created by his vision.

Eddie Gossage, who worked for Smith at Charlotte before leaving to help open Texas Motor Speedway, paid homage to his former boss.

I've met a lot of Americans. People who work in space and people who work in art. Musicians and athletes from around the world. The greatest man I've ever met was Bruton Smith. We had a lot of fun working with one another. He treated me the same as he taught me.

Smith was a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. In 2007, he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. France said Smith was a giant of a sport.

John Force said that everyone knows what he's done for NASCAR. He was a father to me in many ways. He opened Bristol. I really liked him. I'm not going to see him anymore. Hislegacy will live on.

Scott, Marcus, David and Anna Lisa are the sons of Smith. There were still funeral arrangements to be made.