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Dale Earnhardt Jr, Brian France, Southern 500 nominated for Sports Business Journal awards

NASCAR has been nominated in multiple categories in the Sports Business Journal’s ninth annual Sports Business Awards.

The sanctioning body has been nominated for “Sports League of the Year” with the American Athletic Conference, MLB, MLS, NBA and PGA Tour.

NASCAR CEO and Chairman Brian France has been nominated for “Sports Executive of the Year.”

France’s nomination comes in the wake of criticism over his endorsement over Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The other nominees are Stan Kroenke from Kroenke Sports and Entertainment; Joe Lacob, owner of the Golden State Warriors; Rob Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball and Mark Parker, CEO of Nike.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., the 13-time most popular driver, is a nominee for “Best in Sports Social Media.” Last May, Earnhardt became the second NASCAR driver after Danica Patrick to reach 1 million followers on Twitter. They have both since been passed by Jimmie Johnson.

The 2015 Southern 500, which had a throwback theme complete with retro paint schemes, was nominated for “Sports Event of the Year.” The race held at Darlington Raceway will go against the Belmont Stakes, the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao and Super Bowl 50.

Daytona International Speedway is nominated for “Sport Facility of the Year” along with Avaya Stadium, Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Kyle Field and Petco Park. Daytona unveiled its completed $400 million “Daytona Rising” renovations in February in time for the 58th running of the Daytona 500.

Both Toyota and Xfinity from Comcast were nominated for the “Sports Sponsor of the Year.”

The awards will be presented May 18 in New York City.

Follow @DanielMcFadin