Historic NASCAR Short Track Set on Path of Resurrection Years After Closing Its Doors in 2020

Published 12/19/2023, 7:35 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Following in the steps of the revered North Wilkesboro Speedway, another iconic track is on the road to revival. The track in question is none other than Southside Speedway, which stood the test of time for 61 long years before shutting down, owing to COVID-19 pandemic induced financial setbacks. Dubbed as ‘The Toughest track in the South’, Southside Speedway is finally seeing rays of hope, as authorities have expressed their wish of reviving the short track.

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Denny Hamlin’s home track on its way to revival

Southside Speedway once hosted the likes of Junior Johnson, Ned Jarrett and Richard Petty and even bore witness to the nascent stages of Cup driver Denny Hamlin’s career. The #11 driver even hosted the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at the track from 2008 to 2010. However, the 1/3 mile track had to be shut down in 2020 and was later purchased by the Chesterfield Economic Development Authority for $4.5 million in 2021. Furthermore, the track area was even considered as a potential site for real estate development.

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The hopes of redeveloping the racing complex failed to come into effect after the racing community joined hands to launch the ‘Save Southside Speedway’ movement. The attempt proved to be successful as county authorities were forced to intervene and set forth a revival plan for the iconic track.

As per the new proposal announced post a December 13 board meeting, county authorities would be retaining the ownership of the speedway, while Competitive Racing Investments LLC is set to bear the entire value of renovating the track and make it eligible to host races once again. Motorsports journalist Matt Weaver tweeted about the same recently, breaking the good news to the racing community.

Chesterfield authorities set hopes high for the future of Southside Speedway

While it was initially speculated that the track would be merged with the newly built River City Sportsplex, the grassroots coalition by the locals threw a wrench into putting into effect the redevelopment program.

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Clover Hill district Supervisor Chris Winslow in a media interview expressed,The board unanimously directs the Chesterfield County Economic Development Authority to enter into negotiations for a ten-year ground lease purchase and master plan with Competitive Racing Investments LLC to renew racing at Southside Speedway.”

Kevin Carroll, the district Supervisor of Matoaca also expressed his views on the development. He stated, We absolutely look forward to a time where the racetrack is back open [and] we have racing again in Chesterfield County. So, I wish as we move forward on this, all of the success.”

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It will be interesting to see a renovated view of the Speedway as it opens its doors to races once again!

 

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Written by:

Ayantika Maitra

696Articles

One take at a time

Had you asked an individual from the yesteryears, they would have easily asserted that motorsport is surely not a women?s forte. However, times have changed. And changing the narrative, here I am writing and analyzing the world of NASCAR, with over a corpus of 500 articles to my name.
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Edited by:

Ariva Debnath

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