RacePark owners cautiously make progress on plans for season

Thursday, February 10, 2005

If the Auto Tire and Parts NAPA RacePark in Benton, Mo., is going to host a regular schedule of racing this season, owners will have to make a decision on a leasing agreement this month, said Doug Friese, one of the partners in the track.

The track's Web site asks viewers to "check back soon for news about circle track racing."

Friese said Tuesday the ownership group is taking a cautious approach for the future of the track.

"If it's going to be run as a week-to-week business," he said, "a decision needs to be made by the end of February."

Last year, Dirt Track Promotions LLC leased the track and began promoting races in the spring. The dirt-track season ended prematurely in May, and the owners and the lessee ended up in court. The owners of the track won a judgment for $27,330 to cover the unpaid portion of the lease agreement, but they have not received that money.

"We're being really picky on what we want to do," Friese said. "We've talked to people who are interested in having just four or five big shows and to people who are interested in leasing or buying the track.

"We're weighing the options. We're kind of looking at everything to see what's best. Our goal when we bought it was just to bring racing back to the area. Even if we have to sit on it for a while, that's still what we want in the long run."

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