Bruton Smith looking to build drag strip at Lowe's Motor Speedway

Aug 30, 2007 Full story: Charlotte.com 62

“We have had a lot of success and we like what we see in drag racing”

Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Bruton Smith confirmed Thursday that he is considering adding a drag-racing facility to the motorsports complex at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

'We are looking at that very hard, yes sir,' Smith said.

Smith pointed to success in hosting events sanctioned by the National Hot Rod Association, whose PowerAde Series is the premiere drag racing series in the country, at drag strips that are part of SMI complexes at Bristol Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Read more

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ohdawg

Belmont, NC

#21 Oct 2, 2007
Melissa wrote:
I think this is a horrible idea!! Granted, if it weren't RIGHT BEHIND MY HOUSE it would be a good idea. But have some respect for the residents in the area. Not only do we have to be impacted when there are races, and we can't get anywhere when the all of the fans come into town...I can deal with that because its only a couple of times a year. But a drag strip will be constant.
There is so much land on the other side of Concord Parkway behind the track that could be used, instead of the land between the dirt track and the homes.
Well in that area, you have the tracks, the shopping and an open pit mine where they blast with dynamite. Buying a house there was not a great idea. Wait till Bruton has jet cars and a 3000 hp dragster buzzing by your house.
lovedragracing

AOL

#22 Oct 2, 2007
well another thing that has not been mentioned here is if he moves the speedway then all these morons that bought those houses will see a tax increase that will boggle the mind and i hope he does move it and you will see concord dry up and die as a town there are plenty of sites out by carolina speedway in gaston county where he can build both a new nascar track and a nhra dragstrip and he would already have carolina speedway for the dirt cars and i can promise you would not see the whinne asses like those in that neighborhood people over here love racing

and when shuffle town was still running most of the people who went their every week was from gaston county think about that one
erik

Charlotte, NC

#23 Oct 3, 2007
Gee, I sure hope the race track does not move,that would be a deadly for Concord, and many local businesses. How many people live in that
development? Must be some VIP's to override such an economic benifit. HUH?
Crybaby neighbors, stop and reconsider. Please!
Concord

Atlanta, GA

#24 Oct 3, 2007
As a resident of Concord I applaud Bruton for the idea of getting the NHRA in here. As a neighbor of the Speedway I've grown used to the buzz of the cars and the heavy traffic on big event weekends. As a tax payer I hope the revenues can help take the sting from the loss of Philip Morris in a few years. I don't think anyone in Concord is against Bruton, the Speedway or the NHRA but rather against the way it was all brought to light. Most of the homes in the neighborhood adjacent to the new track have been well established for over a decade, long before the dirt track and most recently the dragstrip. Back then, when the model homes were still bustling with new buyers the speedway was still Charlotte Motorspeedway and the shopping and restaurants were hoped for but hardly discussed. Its come a long way thankfully but the homeowners are just in their putting a foot down until questions can get answered. I wonder how many homes Mr. Businessman and community advocate Bruton could buy-out for the proposed track relocation budget of 350 million?

Since: Sep 07

Concord, NC

#25 Oct 3, 2007
If Smith DOES move LMS I hope the residents of Cabarrus county run every member of the Concord city councle AND the residents of those neighborhoods who are complaining out of the STATE..........Concord absolutely cannot absorb an economic blow of that magnatude. Not with everything else that is happening right now.
Smith has known to be spiteful in the past and the scarry thing is, he has the means to back up his threats. If Concord city counsel is brave enough to gamble with the fate of their beloved speedway, then so be it. But, God help them if they are wrong.
Kyle Reasbeck

Franklin, PA

#26 Oct 3, 2007
Concord wrote:
As a resident of Concord I applaud Bruton for the idea of getting the NHRA in here. As a neighbor of the Speedway I've grown used to the buzz of the cars and the heavy traffic on big event weekends. As a tax payer I hope the revenues can help take the sting from the loss of Philip Morris in a few years. I don't think anyone in Concord is against Bruton, the Speedway or the NHRA but rather against the way it was all brought to light. Most of the homes in the neighborhood adjacent to the new track have been well established for over a decade, long before the dirt track and most recently the dragstrip. Back then, when the model homes were still bustling with new buyers the speedway was still Charlotte Motorspeedway and the shopping and restaurants were hoped for but hardly discussed. Its come a long way thankfully but the homeowners are just in their putting a foot down until questions can get answered. I wonder how many homes Mr. Businessman and community advocate Bruton could buy-out for the proposed track relocation budget of 350 million?
Actually, take it to an area that wants the complex and accompanying economic boost, it may not cost as much b/c they will support it and bend over backwards to get that venue. Take the current track, sell the land, let somebody develop yet MORE new housing, since people must be getting tired of their "old" (circa 1996) housing. When was that speedway built again?(1960ish i believe). Since it is now obvious the complex can not rely on any existing zoning or laws in general,(note:they can be changed at anytime to subjective opinions apparently), i'd take it somewhere else where i wasnt worried about being a victim of shady politics and lawmaking. Heck,they were only racing cars there 40 yrs before the houses we're built, i can see how people were unaware of the noise......
Big E

Spartanburg, SC

#27 Oct 4, 2007
Build the Dragstrip.Use some of the income that the city of Concord will get from it and dig yourselves a nice freshwater resovoir that can be fed by your county creeks.Its a win win situation we get a dragstrip to enjoy you get much needed income and water to boot!!!!Don't let him build it and dry up.
Mike Davis

Charlotte, NC

#28 Oct 4, 2007
Build the Track Petition...

Feel free to sign for your support & forward to others that will too…

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/build-the-dr...
Stuart in Concord

United States

#29 Oct 5, 2007
Melissa wrote:
I think this is a horrible idea!! Granted, if it weren't RIGHT BEHIND MY HOUSE it would be a good idea. But have some respect for the residents in the area. Not only do we have to be impacted when there are races, and we can't get anywhere when the all of the fans come into town...I can deal with that because its only a couple of times a year. But a drag strip will be constant.
There is so much land on the other side of Concord Parkway behind the track that could be used, instead of the land between the dirt track and the homes.
I too live near LMS, but they were here first. So I deal with it. As a resident of Concord I am not about to see the largest remaining ecomonic engine in Concord be run out. So Melissa, when all those hotel rooms are empty instead of packed at triple rates for race weekends, are you and the folks in Riverwalk going to pony up a couple of million for our tax base????? Thought not. Gotta look at the big picture, kid!!!!
Stuart in Concord

United States

#30 Oct 5, 2007
All of you interested in keeping racing in Concord, write to Scott Padgett the mayor and voice your opinion
Mike Davis

Charlotte, NC

#31 Oct 5, 2007
Stuart in Concord wrote:
All of you interested in keeping racing in Concord, write to Scott Padgett the mayor and voice your opinion
I have this was the response...

Mr. Davis,

Everyone is aware of the benefits of the round track and appreciates the economic impact it provides. No one wants to see that situation change.
Council simply needed additional information on the proposed drag strip from Mr. Smith and in the days we spent attempting to gather that information, nothing was provided. Just to make certain you are fully aware of what is proposed, please consider the following facts in order to increase your awareness as to our concerns.

1. The drag strip will be approximately 1/2 mile from several subdivisions with thousands of residents, two schools and several churches. It is not located inside the round track, as some believe, but across the street between the dirt track and Tom Johnson Camping Center.
It will run parallel to Concord Parkway with the starting line 200 feet from Speedway Blvd. and run ˝ mile to the existing tree line.

2. The current round track has 2 races, 3 weekends per year for approximately 15 hours of racing. Include the dirt track and that may rise to 25 hours of racing noise per year. The drag strip will total that many hours in just one weekend.

3. All major drag strips researched operate nearly every weekend between April and September. Mr. Smith's track would operate between 20 and 25 weekends during those same months. Most race days have racing from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM with later runs if schedules are interrupted during the day. Weekend racing schedules start on Friday morning at 9 and finish sometime Sunday evening.

4. Top Fuel or Funny Cars operate with engines in the 7000 to 8000 horse power range compared to the 800 HP engines of NASCAR vehicles. They use nitro methane fuel which, in my personal experience, causes eyes and throats to burn if standing nearby. Each vehicle will use approximately
22 gallons of fuel per burn out and race. There are two cars per race and approximately 1 race every 10 minutes. That will result in over 260 gallons of spent nitro methane fuel along with burnt tire rubber in the air every hour they run. Prevailing winds will dictate where those fumes travel.

5. Sound readings register 140 to 150 dB during the actual races. The NASCAR races are held in situation similar to a bowl and the sound is projected upward. The drag strip could be on flat ground with no barrier what so ever.

6. The drag strip will operate street racing events aimed at taking those drivers inclined to race on the highways off of the street when not occupied with NHRA series races. This will bring local draggers in from surrounding counties many miles away on to our streets.

7. Reports from those around the Mooresville drag strip where similar street racing is allowed indicate considerable noise up to 5 miles away.

8. Several drag strips have been involved with lawsuits concerning noise and at least one operates under court order.

As you can see there was far more for us to consider than simply 1 or 2 drag events per year and we were seeking information from Mr. Smith. His staff was advised days before our meeting this past Monday that we would be willing to review our decision if information was provided to both the Council and the surrounding neighbors. That offer still stands and we have reinforced it several times the past few days. This NHRA drag strip has nothing to do with the NASCAR track. The track has been operating profitably for 40 years designed as it is today. Both the City of Concord and Mr. Smith have profited handsomely without a drag strip.
If the round track is moved may be because someone would rather build a new one than renovate one that’s 40 years old.

Randy Grimes
Hawaiian

Kailua, HI

#32 Oct 6, 2007
The State of Hawaii closed our Raceway Park a year ago, and everyone thats into automotive performance are racing on the streets. How's about having Bruton Smith come down to Hawaii (Oahu) and build us a Drag strip?
Hawaiian

Kailua, HI

#33 Oct 6, 2007
More street racing feared when track shuts down
The impending closure of Hawai'i Raceway Park in April has parents and police concerned about a potential rise in illegal street racing — while machine shops and other racing-related businesses are wondering how they'll keep operating.
"We hope that it doesn't, but we realize that the possibility (of increased street racing) exists," said Honolulu Police Department spokeswoman Michelle Yu.
"We'll continue to conduct enforcement."
In 2004, HPD officers issued 199 "racing on highway" citations and 381 citations for "exhibition/acceleration of speed." For the first nine months of 2005, they issued 186 "racing on highway" citations and 283 for "exhibition/acceleration of speed."
"I think the racetrack has been a great outlet for folks who do want to race in a safe manner, rather than on the freeways," said Scott Ishikawa, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.
LEASE EXPIRES IN APRIL
Mike Oakland, president of the Hawai'i Motorsports Center, said this week that he will close the 66-acre Hawai'i Raceway Park at Campbell Industrial Park when his lease extension expires in April.
Oakland has been frustrated in his attempts to develop a new race complex at Kalaeloa.
Rodney Gouveia of Foster Village says he practically raised his two sons — ages 19 and 24 — at the raceway park, and for years has lectured them about the appropriate time and place to race.
"I've always told them that if you want to race, race on the track and not on the street," Gouveia said. "Both boys have never had a speeding ticket at all. I don't know if it's from that or we're just fortunate. But their driving records are as clean as a whistle."
Gouveia is thinking of shipping his race car to the Mainland, where he'd store it and possibly race it once a year. "Our hands are tied," Gouveia said.
Like Gouveia, Larry Petersen of Wahiawa worries that drivers will use their modified cars and motorcycles to race on Honolulu's streets and freeways when Hawai'i Raceway Park closes.
"Just look at what already happens on the freeway now and triple it," Petersen said.
He, too, lectures his two sons that racing and speeding are reserved for the track.
"We tell them that if you want to race, if you want to go fast, you need to do it on the racetrack," Petersen said.
"Whether it's driving in a circle or on the dirt or straightaway on the quarter-mile or whether it's drifting, it needs to be done where there's no traffic, there's no kids running all over the place and no dogs on the street."
Hawaiian

Kailua, HI

#34 Oct 6, 2007
FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Petersen usually brings 10 to 15 relatives and friends with him to Hawai'i Raceway Park, where the family most recently had been competing in sprint-car races.
"Some sit in the stands, some scrape mud, some change tires," Petersen said. "This particular hobby takes up a lot of time. That's why you try to do it as a family. You get your wife involved, you get your kids involved. It's a blast."
Petersen just spent $15,000 on a new, nonwing sprint car that he ordered from the Mainland. Tires, wheels and a high-performance engine will cost him another $12,000 or so.
Petersen, 46, started out racing stock cars at Hawai'i Raceway Park and doesn't want to calculate how much money he has spent there over the years — or how much he spends annually on his hobby.
"I'd be scared to think of the number," Petersen said.
Gouveia of Foster Village said he recently purchased an $11,000 econo-sprint car to use at Hawai'i Raceway Park and expects to spend another $9,000 getting it race-ready.
SHOP OWNER WORRIES
Mark Tavares, who owns Snyder Machine Works in Waipahu, worries what drivers with street-legal cars will do when the race complex closes.
"We can't do without a racetrack on the island," Tavares said. "There will be chaos on the road. Nobody wants that. That endangers everybody."
Snyder Machine Works specializes in high-performance engine work, where customers pay anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000. The average customer typically spends about $6,000 to $7,000.
Tavares estimates that the end of the racetrack will cost him 40 percent to 50 percent of his business.
"It'll take a lot of customers away, definitely," he said.
Tom Bryant expects that he will have to close up for good when the raceway park runs its last events.
He is owner, part-owner or key employee of four separate racing, drifting and driving businesses that put on various events at the park.
"I'll have to change industries altogether," Bryant said. "I could try and open up a repair shop or go where the money is, which is construction.
"But what's worst of all is the fear that these guys are going to take to the streets.
"That's the hard reality of the racetrack closing."

“I JUST LOVE RACING!!!”

Since: Jan 07

Kannapolis...EARNHARDT country

#35 Oct 7, 2007
We have lost Cannon Mills(thousands unemployed) Phillip Morris gone(thousand with no job)now the only thing we have left. there going to let it go.what in h-ll is wrong with you people.those people near he Lowes Motor Speedway that are mad about the noise, move out now!! because there is a dragracer looking for a home near a dragstrip.move now get away from here. you should have known better before you moved there.
SRP707

AOL

#36 Oct 7, 2007
Well you read Randy Grimes the illiterate tree hugger's "Numbered" letter. Please give me a break. Come to Rockingham the 19th and the fuel smell is restricted to the 50 or maybe 100 feet around the Top Fuel car. They don't kill trees and flowers as one of your other idiot cronies stated at the meeting.Check out Maple Grove Dragway..more green trees and flowers than the city parks. My word Lowes is nothing but a land fill,dump,and you built a house next to it. How about the garbage trucks in and out of there 24 hrs a day 7 days a week..forgot that didn't you Golf boy? I hope Bruton builds it next to the boring golf course you try to play at. Remember what Gaylord did in Nashville..locked up Opry land and built the super speedway in the next county because of goof balls rolling dice they didn't own.
beat the heat cop racer

United States

#37 Oct 7, 2007
Randy Grimes, I am President of Beat the Heat Inc. It is a non-profit organization of cops and firemen that use racing police and fire cars to encourage young people to come to the tracks and race us to get them off the street. I don't know where you got your info but it is wrong. If the track brings "draggers" from elsewhere to the track, isn't that a positive? Drag strips don't operate the hours you posted (I built and ran an IHRA national event track) Top Fuel dragsters will not be there every weekend.....They only come to national events (once a year). If the dragstrip saves one young person from illegal street racing (which is not drag racing) it is worth it. If you are going to post facts, make sure they are correct! If it is built, I'll be glad to come help local law enforcement start a Beat the Heat program...We have 446 chapters in the U.S., 7 in Australia, Canada and Puerto Rico.(we don't use tax dollars)..Lt. Tom Brown, President Beat the Heat Inc.
Mitch C

Baltimore, MD

#38 Oct 8, 2007
David K wrote:
NHRA has released the 2008 schedule. There is a yet to be named event in the fall (mid Sept 2008). Could the excitement of NHRA racing be coming to Charlotte NC?
Rumor mill has it that "YES", Charlotte would be the TBD, in 08, IF the track is completed in time...
JimboNation

Charlotte, NC

#39 Oct 9, 2007
I live on HWY 49 just on the other side of the speedway. I can hear the races, all of the concerts at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, still deal with all of the traffic, and in no way am I against this dragstrip. When you buy property in this area it is something that you have prior knowledge of and in my opinion you have no real reason to protest this. You can't hear all of these things unless you are outside of your house anyway. It just goes to show that some people just need something to complain about at all times. What would you do if Bruton, came to your house and protested every single time you tried to build a tool shed or a dog house?! Get a life and get real people of Concord.....
Mike Davis

Concord, NC

#40 Oct 9, 2007
JimboNation wrote:
I live on HWY 49 just on the other side of the speedway. I can hear the races, all of the concerts at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, still deal with all of the traffic, and in no way am I against this dragstrip. When you buy property in this area it is something that you have prior knowledge of and in my opinion you have no real reason to protest this. You can't hear all of these things unless you are outside of your house anyway. It just goes to show that some people just need something to complain about at all times. What would you do if Bruton, came to your house and protested every single time you tried to build a tool shed or a dog house?! Get a life and get real people of Concord.....
AMEN -- SAME HERE

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