|Date: 7/29/2011 11:19:07 PM|
July 29, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TRI-CITY SPEEDWAY CLOSES GATES FOR THE REMAINDER OF 2011 SEASON
FRANKLIN, PA .. H&H Motorsports announced on Thursday, July 28, 2011, that Tri-City Speedway will close its gates for the remainder of the 2011 racing season.
The closure only affects the half-mile dirt oval. The go-kart track, which runs every other Saturday, and the Extreme Dirt Track Nationals ATV event scheduled for August 5th and 6th, will still run as scheduled.
News of the decision was relayed to Tri-City Promoter Tim Engles and his management team in an e-mail from H&H Motorsports co-owner, Roy Hill of Ruther Glen, Va. Rich Hetrick of Oil City, Pa., also owns the company.
"Due to financial conditions, Roy and Rich have had to come to the difficult decision to close the track effective immediately," read the e-mail. "We wish to thank everyone for their hard work and efforts in the operation of trying to run the track this year."
Engles, who was hired by H&H Motorsports to operate and promote the track this season, was somewhat surprised by the timing of the decision.
"It's taken out of our hands," said Engles speaking on behalf of the management team. "Originally, we understood that the track would run through the year. We wanted to finish out the season. After I received the e-mail, I discussed various options with Mr. Hill, including dropping classes. However, he explained to me that there are no additional funds to operate the track. We are sorry for the inconvenience this decision caused to all of the fans, race teams, and sponsors."
This season, H&H Motorsports moved Tri-City from its traditional weekly Sunday night slot to Friday nights. In addition, the Super Late Models replaced the Big Block Modifieds as the headline class. Those decisions were made in an attempt to boost the bottom line, but the effort failed in the end.
"There simply were not enough fans there to support the track," noted Engles. "We knew it would be tight. The Super Late Model teams supported us, but there were not enough people through the gates to build the program."
The closure leaves some unanswered questions that will need to be resolved over the next several weeks. This includes the rain checks and pit passes from the July 22nd show.
"All matters and concerns need to be directed to the H&H Motorsports office in Virginia," noted Engles. "All financial decisions are made by that office, so all inquiries have to be directed to that office at this time."
With the decision to close the track, the Oil Region Labor Day Classic Weekend featuring the World of Outlaws Late Models Series and FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series will be canceled.
In addition, the closure ends the point chases in all divisions. Robbie Blair will be declared the 2011 Super Late Model track champion. Blair also won the title in 1997. Doing double duty this season, Blair also captured the FASTRAK Late Model title. Other track champions include Carl McKinney (E Mods), Jackson Humanic (Open Pro Stocks), and Jace Ferringer (Thundercars). Due to the track's financial circumstances, no point funds will be awarded and no banquet will be scheduled.
"The reality is that local short track racing is facing a difficult future," noted Engles. "There are many challenges too numerous to mention. The economic downturn over the last few years has really taken its toll as well. We hope that Tri-City Speedway's fate is not the same for other regional tracks. We encourage all race fans to support their local tracks and race teams."
For more information, please contact H&H Motorsports at 23328 Business Centre Court, Ruther Glen, VA 22546. Inquires may also be made to Hill at (804) 448-3202 and Hetrick at (814) 676-0477.
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