This happens way too often…
Take it to the track: that’s what we say to people who think street racing is a great idea. And while that’s still a good idea, finding a racetrack that’s still open to public use is getting harder with each passing year. This time it’s I-80 Speedway in Nebraska that’s shutting down forever after the 2023 season.
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For many in the area, the dirt oval track was not only a place to watch or participate in the races, it was also a community. The 4/10ths mile track has been around since 1994 and featured weekly racing as well as sprint car specials and quite a few touring series. Soon, all of that will be history.
The current owners bought the speedway back in 2004 as a way to acquire more land for a pre-existing business. At first they had a rough go, something which is all too common with racetracks these days. However, they figured out how to make the races successful. That’s why the sale of the facility and land seems odd.
Everything will be sold at auction on January 9 and will end on January 16. Included in the auction are items the scoreboard and classic cars currently on display. They’re even selling the light towers, just in case someone is setting up a new track, although we seriously doubt the possibility.
Not surprisingly, one of the owners told a local reporter that “land value” was a factor in the decision to sell. That’s usually what dooms racetracks as owners are tempted by millions of dollars waved in front of their faces. Sadly, what replaces many tracks is luxury condos, upscale shopping, and people who complain if they hear one car they think is too loud.
We’re not justifying street racing, but this movement makes us wonder if anyone in a position to do something about this trend cares about the consequences? Sure, people are making money, but if people can’t get their need for speed out of their systems by going to racetracks, the unfortunate truth is they’ll probably try racing or watching races done on public roads.
Source and images: KMTV