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Caption/Credit: Larry Miller Leans on a Ford Mustang at the Miller Motorsports Park (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret Morning News)
While Larry H. Miller might be better known as the owner of the Utah Jazz Basketball organization, auto aficionados know him for creating the Miller Motorsports Park. Miller died on Friday due to complications due to diabetes.
Miller was more than just a business owner, however; he was an active member of his community. He donated millions of dollars to build a 20 acre Salt Lake Community College campus, he taught several masters of business administration classes at Brigham Young University, and gave money to establish a police officer training center. Some estimates put his donations at well over $100 million.
Miller was a self-made man, who created the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies from his auto-parts business and one Toyota dealership which he opened in the late 1970s. Miller expanded his auto empire to include more than 40 dealerships. From there he ownered and operated several movie theaters as well as local radio and TV stations and even the Jordan Commons, a retail, entertainment and office complex.
As mentioned, he is best known for owning the Utah Jazz, although he also owned the Salt Lake Bees, a minor league baseball team.
The Miller Motorsport Park, located in Tooele, Utah, is a 23-turn 4.5-mile road course. Originally a $5 million project to be used as a playground by Miller, the project quickly became an enormous undertaking with a cost of $85 million. The track opened in 2005 and now plays host to the American Le Mans Series, Grand Am Series, SPEED World Challenge Series and the AMA Superbike series. It also hosts certain NASCAR series races and is home to the Ford Racing High Performance Driving School. In 2006 it was named Motorsports Facility of the Year by the Professional Motorsport World Expo in Cologne, Germany.
The Larry H. Miller Group of Companies is one of the 150 largest privately held corporations in the United States with more than 7,000 employees in six states with an annual revenue of $3 billion.
“Larry was not only one of the finest auto dealers in the country, he was also one of the finest humanitarians,” said Iowan John McEleney, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association. “In fact, it would be hard to find a finer human being. When it came to helping others, Larry set the standard.”
[Source: Salt Lake Tribute]
See a tour of the Miller Motorsprots Park Museum by our friends at Garage419 after the jump: