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J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
4/25/22 9:50 a.m.
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The owners of Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR)–IRG Sports + Entertainment (IRG)–released a statement on Sunday, April 24. They said that the Last Lap celebration on April 23, was their last event before they close the track. IRG says that some of the South Florida …

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/25/22 11:37 a.m.

It's sad news. PBIR, back when it was Moroso, was the first track that I visited as part of the GRM staff. And my last visit was a TNiA just before the pandemic. Good times. 

KaiserM715
KaiserM715 New Reader
4/25/22 1:18 p.m.

It sure seems like track closures are on the rise.  While not the same, Houston Raceway Park held it's last NHRA event and will become warehouses.  I am sure the reasons behind selling and closing are very similar.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/25/22 1:34 p.m.

I think, at the end of the day, it’s all about the money. If someone came to PBIR with a suitcase full of cash, things might be different.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider UberDork
4/25/22 1:39 p.m.

It totally is about the $$. Our local country club track Harris Hill has housing being built all around it and the land value is rising rapidly. I see that as a casualty in the next 3-5 years. We lost Texas World to the same fate a while ago. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/25/22 2:03 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Last week was a sad one for me, as Easter Sunday was the last night of racing at Pompano Park, the only remaining harness track in Florida, or anywhere in the southeast.

The photo that I use for my avatar was taken there.

I continued watching some YouTube videos after I watched the final race and the commemerative video. I saw video of myself swimming a horse in the therapy pool, and another video with my late brother bathing a horse.

Yeah, I didn't need to see this. I'd been planning to drive to WPB to autocross on the Kart track.

 

grover
grover Dork
4/25/22 2:22 p.m.

Housing is getting closer to PBIR as well so it was going to happen eventually. I'm in west Jupiter and prices here have exploded. The rest of south Florida has been built out and it's coming north. Sad but true. 

Slippery
Slippery UberDork
4/25/22 2:33 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

No harness racing at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale? 

NOT A TA
NOT A TA UltraDork
4/25/22 2:46 p.m.

Covid really put a hurting on tracks of all types everywhere in the country. So it isn't surprising that some which were not very profitable have found themselves in a bad financial position.

So what happens to those tall endangered birds that used to come up and stand with groups of folks as if they were part of the conversation?

A couple years from now the county people will be wondering why so many of the local automotive related businesses close or move as the machine shops, chassis shops, kit car builders, race shops, dyno tuners, and others who have customers that frequented the track slowly spend less and less. There are a lot of shops that will be affected along the I-95 corridor from Pompano Beach up to Rivera Beach.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/25/22 3:13 p.m.
Slippery said:

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

No harness racing at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale? 

Thoroughbred racing only.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
4/25/22 3:22 p.m.
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) said:
Slippery said:

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

No harness racing at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale? 

Thoroughbred racing only.

Harness racing seems to be dying everywhere. Well, horse racing in general does, but harness racing seems to be going faster. 

I want to get back to the OTB, but I always went with my FIL who has been in the hospital for months. 

aw614
aw614 Reader
4/25/22 3:27 p.m.

Ugh, I still wanted to at least go to one of their night autocrosses, guess that won't be happening now. 

spedracer
spedracer New Reader
4/25/22 6:20 p.m.

In reply to KaiserM715 :

Wildhorse Pass, which some of you may know as Firebird, is closing soon. Its adjacent to I-10 and is going to become a better on/off ramp. The rest of it is planned to be replaced with new casinos/shops/etc. So Phoenix is losing an NHRA drag strip and 3 (small) tracks used often by multiple orgs. I assume this means the end for Bondurant (Now Radford) driving school as well.

 

There's replacements for some of these tracks closing out west, but they are generally being built as "country club" tracks. Only some allow orgs to host HPDE/racing, and even if you have the money to spend, its still pretty limiting.

kurtbob
kurtbob
4/25/22 6:34 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Yeah ... why couldn't Elon Musk fund the track instead of dumping money in (useless) Twitter.

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/25/22 6:51 p.m.

Seems like everyplace I have ever lived has gone this way as soon as population goes up and land gets expensive. California in the 1970s. Colorado in the 1980s. Dallas, Texas today and right now. Everything turns into office buildings, industrial parks and apartment complexes with a few neighborhoods of "luxury houses" and entertainment districts filled with expensive clubs and franchised restaurants mixed in. Everything belongs to owners from other States and other Countries who don't live in the community and don't care about anything but the financial bottom line. Race tracks go away. ATV parks go away. Local pubs and eateries go away. Miniature golf courses go away. Parks go away. Campgrounds go away. Empty fields go away. You go to work in your cube then go home to your other cube to play computer games and stream movies in the middle of your new congested world. You don't know your neighbor. Traffic is horrible in between your home cube and your work cube. Quality of life goes down.

I call it Californiacation, but it seems to be happening everywhere now. I would almost hate to be young now and face another lifetime living in an overpriced "Multiplex".

KaiserM715
KaiserM715 New Reader
4/25/22 7:01 p.m.

In reply to spedracer :

I had heard that about Firebird as well.  I think those are two of the three major closures this year (IIRC).  As far as pro racing goes, nothing has pit and driver accessability like NHRA.  I will definitely miss having it around.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s Dork
4/25/22 8:56 p.m.
KaiserM715 said:

It sure seems like track closures are on the rise.  While not the same, Houston Raceway Park held it's last NHRA event and will become warehouses.  I am sure the reasons behind selling and closing are very similar.

Some of these warehouse projects pay an unbelievable amount for land. $100K+ an acre in the right location. And that's in the Midwest.

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
4/26/22 10:51 a.m.

In reply to Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) :

We have 3 tracks within a 2 hour drive of Denver.  Not too shabby.

bentwrench
bentwrench UltraDork
4/26/22 11:02 a.m.

Enjoy them while you can. You will live to see them close.

TR7 (Forum Supporter)
TR7 (Forum Supporter) Reader
4/26/22 11:19 a.m.
KaiserM715 said:

It sure seems like track closures are on the rise.  While not the same, Houston Raceway Park held it's last NHRA event and will become warehouses.  I am sure the reasons behind selling and closing are very similar.

Same thing is soon to happen at Atco NJ, (already happened to Englishtown NJ), close the track, turn it into warehouses or a copart auction lot. 

chaparral
chaparral Dork
4/26/22 11:50 a.m.

In reply to Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) :

Building a racetrack is essentially a real-estate investment. Ideally by the time the pavement and buildings have worn out, the land the track stands on is worth enough that you make a good profit selling it for its new use as a warehouse, a factory, an apartment complex, a subdivision...

 

and then you go another 10 miles out of town and build another racetrack on the next brownfields site.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s Dork
4/26/22 12:06 p.m.

I wonder how many of the malls built over top of old legendary racetracks are dead malls now.

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
4/26/22 12:19 p.m.

In reply to bentwrench :

Doubt it.  One of them is owned by the car clubs plus is in BFE and the other two are nowhere near housing areas. 

akylekoz
akylekoz UltraDork
4/26/22 12:53 p.m.

My local track, Grattan Raceway has been for sale for a while now, what if no one buys it?  

Slippery
Slippery PowerDork
7/1/22 5:45 p.m.

Just saw this. Not sure what it means but interesting:

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