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preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) SuperDork
12/18/22 9:52 a.m.

Spinning off of the safety gripe in the Cleetus Macfarland thread:

I think we are belaboring a point that we cannot really fix re: the safety of other people. I think the more important issue that has come up is the probable fact that we are about to lose 2 more venues that cater to grassroots motorsporting, Bradenton Dragway and the Freedom Factory. 

I guess IDGAF about where you stand on this guys events. I do GAF about 8yo me back in the 70s NOT being able to see a car go 10s in a 1/4 mile or billow smoke from the tires sliding around a turn on a legal track. I would not be who I am.

I recently drove from pretty rural New Hampshire to Washington, DC. About mid Connecticut all the way to DC it was urban sprawl. Horrible. No room for our hobby, unless you want folk ripping down your street at dangerous speeds. 

I'd rather not think of a different me that was not into cars. I'd have been a berkeleying shiny happy person for sure. Now, the only reason I work is to support my family and my addiction to cars. I think this needs to be passed on.

Garret telling the Board that he wants his kid to inherit the FF and this guy mentioning his 6yo daughter's helmet behind him is the prime reason that we need to talk about this crap.

He flew from AZ to FL to talk for 3 minutes. He also did a fair amount of sound research.

 

My local drag strip has had an influx of MA (Mshiny happy people) people coming up, purchasing homes, and complaining about the noise. Due diligence? It is also next to/near an oval track. They started to complain, then a local gun manufacturer out bid a developer and opened a gun range/school. It was fantastic.

Anyway, this is not going to be a one time event. It deserves a conversation.

racerfink
racerfink UberDork
12/18/22 10:11 a.m.

My local short track is about an hour away from BMP/FF.  It's on airport property, and can only be leased.  They were out-bid a few months ago by someone who wants to turn the property into an entertainment venue, which no doubt involves ripping the track up.  Luckily, it looks like he finally listened to the people telling him that town is too small to support a large concert venue, when there are so many better venues within an hour of there.  As of now, the track is still in limbo for next year.

The local autocross venue is an old airstrip built for bomber training in WW2.  Mosquito control uses it now, and allows the autocross club to use it once a month.  The last few years, houses have been built along the fence line, with about 20 houses having their backyard end at the fence line.  True to form, they are complaining about the noise. The site may not be renewed when the current contract is up.

Tracks are being purged at an alarming rate all over the country, all in the name of progress...

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
12/18/22 10:13 a.m.

Not a new issue.  Some of the best tracks that have ever hosted races are gone because of the same thing.

I would suggest to the track and the owners to work with the home owners instead of fighting them- it's worked for Waterford Hills- as it's in the middle of a neighborhood, and even has a shooting range.   It's been open that way for longer than I know of- but it's because the track/shooting club works with the neighborhood.

Kind of hard to be shocked by this happening- if Cleetus didn't think this would happen when he got the track, that would kind of be his fault- since it's been happening since before he was born.  Sucks, but true.

And it's not limited to race tracks- people do this for airports, too.  Sometimes after the airport becomes a major international hub- so they win a court battle to make a bunch of money buying a home in the pattern.  (this happened at DTW, and a person I worked with got a new home because of it)

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
12/18/22 11:10 a.m.

In 1953 the Tiedt family started a clay oval racetrack which today would be in Burr Ridge, IL.  My father-in-law bought a house in 1963 less than a mile away and the track was loud when you went outside in the evening.  

In a certain vicinity the track owner passed out free passes to get in.  My FIL became friends with the owner and my wife spent time in the announcer booth during a few races.  

They accepted that they bought a home near the track but one day gated communities popped up complaining and eventually the family sold the valuable land to a developer - 7 figures+.  

Sometimes it feels like our culture has changed - I met a lot of wild beer ($1 beers) drinking guys at the demolition derby's and I had a blast. Lots of good memories here.

Sante Fe Speedway - the track was just south of 91st Street.

 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia UltraDork
12/18/22 11:12 a.m.

Los Angeles area has had many drag strips and road racing tracks , most are gone.

Fontana Raceway sold the north part of its track where the 1/4 mile drag strip was located to Amazon !

so now we have an 1/8 mile track at Irwindale , which is always threatened to be torn down for warehouses. Plus Irwindale has a circle track .

Gone are Riverside raceway , Orange County raceway OCIR , Ontario speedway , Ascot ,  Lions, and a lot more tracks that never made it out of the 1950s-60s.

Cleetus is trying , but I think a lot of the trouble is Cleetus  who has always been a promoter and not a diplomat !

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) SuperDork
12/18/22 11:23 a.m.

If I had the means I would buy a race track or small airport and put a house on the property. I am not sure what would happen but I'd burn down some tires in retirement.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/18/22 11:44 a.m.

In reply to preach (dudeist priest) :

Track and airport story...

Just a couple of years ago, 2017, locally.  Norwalk Dragway, officially named Summit Motorsports Park due to catalog/parts company sponsorship.  The dragway shares a fence with the County owned small plane, paved airfield. The owner of the dragway spends huge dollars in 2017 of a complete rip-out of the track pavement and repave.  With that he also updates the lighting  and adds two lamp posts toward the end of the track per NHRA and TV sponsorship requirements.  

Small plane owner complains of the two new lamp posts as being a threat to safe aviation.  FAA informs the track that the posts MUST come down.  If the posts are not there, the track looses all NHRA events including the televised events.  That's the big dollars to the tracks business.  They can not survive off just Weds night test and tunes, etc. This track is the single largest tourist attraction in this entire rural county!  

Net result after much legal wrangling is that Norwalk Dragway has 3 poles that are uniquely wrapped in red/white with strobes.  Keep in mind this airfield only allows daylight landings and take offs.  

The dragstrip runs North to South.  The planes land East to West.

This picture looks straight down the runway. 

If you super zoom that photo above you car see the 3 light poles now wrapped in Red/White.  The only kind like it anywhere else in the entire US as in a new FAA rule had to ba passed to allow the change. 

The long version of the whole drama in this old local news story: https://sanduskyregister.com/news/30589/lights-out-for-summit/

So, the Ohio Dept of Trans, Aviation and the FAA nearly put this track out of business due to one complaint from one individual.  Not a complaint from the actual airfield.  It cost the owner major dollars to fight it and was a local hot topic.  

weedburner
weedburner Reader
12/18/22 12:01 p.m.

Noise seems to be the biggest problem, could EV's be the answer?

 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
12/18/22 12:06 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

Why was it so hard to work with the neighbor to make sure that this didn't happen?   Putting high posts near the end of a runway seems like a rather obvious concern.

It's curious to me that people would rather battle to get their way instead of working with everyone to do it.   Especially when you look at history, battling rarely ever wins in courts.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/18/22 12:10 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

Yes, its complex.  Know that "the neighbor" itself, the county owned airport, was not the enemy here.  It was the one complaint that drew the attention of the FAA/Gov't who became the real enemy.  So much so that the FAA was ruling that a pole that had been in place for 20 years was also a problem.  

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Dork
12/18/22 12:30 p.m.
preach (dudeist priest) said:

Spinning off of the safety gripe in the Cleetus Macfarland thread:

I think we are belaboring a point that we cannot really fix re: the safety of other people. I think the more important issue that has come up is the probable fact that we are about to lose 2 more venues that cater to grassroots motorsporting, Bradenton Dragway and the Freedom Factory. 

I guess IDGAF about where you stand on this guys events. I do GAF about 8yo me back in the 70s NOT being able to see a car go 10s in a 1/4 mile or billow smoke from the tires sliding around a turn on a legal track. I would not be who I am.

I recently drove from pretty rural New Hampshire to Washington, DC. About mid Connecticut all the way to DC it was urban sprawl. Horrible. No room for our hobby, unless you want folk ripping down your street at dangerous speeds. 

I'd rather not think of a different me that was not into cars. I'd have been a berkeleying shiny happy person for sure. Now, the only reason I work is to support my family and my addiction to cars. I think this needs to be passed on.

Garret telling the Board that he wants his kid to inherit the FF and this guy mentioning his 6yo daughter's helmet behind him is the prime reason that we need to talk about this crap.

He flew from AZ to FL to talk for 3 minutes. He also did a fair amount of sound research.

 

My local drag strip has had an influx of MA (Mshiny happy people) people coming up, purchasing homes, and complaining about the noise. Due diligence? It is also next to/near an oval track. They started to complain, then a local gun manufacturer out bid a developer and opened a gun range/school. It was fantastic.

Anyway, this is not going to be a one time event. It deserves a conversation.

Rad torque raceway formally castrol raceway here in Edmonton is located at the  Edmonton international airport. Just to the  south of the track is the Edmonton gun club. They are both n the northwest side of the. airport. On the east side of the airport is where our horse racing track is located. One of my buddies who races a dirt late model has a friend who's the operations manager there so he's had them as a sponsor for 3 years now abd had tge car displayed there this summer.

L5wolvesf
L5wolvesf Dork
12/18/22 12:43 p.m.

Tracks are being purged at an alarming rate all over the country, all in the name of progress...

Actually it is . . . all in the name of making money

bmw88rider
bmw88rider UberDork
12/18/22 12:43 p.m.

We have lost 2 out of the 3 local dirt tracks here in the last decade to "Development" This is freakin Nebraska with a ton of land but they chose to develop out that way. With that, we are down to just one left.

 

I really think that RPM is going to be next more because of the location and the flood plain that it's on. It's still not able to hold club races there because of damage from the last flood there.

That will leave 1 road race track in Nebraska in Hastings which is 3 hours away from the mass of the population.  

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
12/18/22 12:49 p.m.
John Welsh said:

In reply to alfadriver :

Yes, its complex.  Know that "the neighbor" itself, the county owned airport, was not the enemy here.  It was the one complaint that drew the attention of the FAA/Gov't who became the real enemy.  So much so that the FAA was ruling that a pole that had been in place for 20 years was also a problem.  

So it should have been really easy to have an open discussion between the airport, the track, and the pilots.  The government was not the enemy, they are just reacting to valid concerns of a pilot- which is exactly what they are supposed to do.  The fact that a 20 year old pole was not brought up before isn't that valid.

The county owned airport is a public airport, meaning it's used by everyone.  And that means everyone has input to if the track adds risk to the landing or not.

And since we need to label "an enemy"- that's part of the issue of these kinds of events.   The track can also be seen as "an enemy" by going after money like that at the expense of pilots.  Work together instead of fight.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/18/22 12:53 p.m.

I am reminded of 2018 and going to The Autobahn Country Club in the Chicago area, specifically Joliet.  I had not been there or Joliet before.  I did know of the track reputation of being a "new build" and a rather high dollar place.  On the drive in and out I was rather amazed at the "grim-ness" of the neighborhood.  All the area includes much trucking and train yards with giant transportation warehousing.  There is also a huge refinery not far outside the gates as well a some sort of really large chemical company.  Not exactly the surrounds that the name "country club" brings to mind like a golf country club.  But, inside the gates, the place is wonderful.  

Upon further thought, I realized the its location was pure genius!   Surrounded by refineries, chemical plants and train traffic the track and track noise does not become the "worst offender" in the neighborhood.  It is also not a place that will be surrounded by houses eventually and certainly not high dollar houses given who wants to live in that kind of neighborhood.  

RossD
RossD MegaDork
12/18/22 1:01 p.m.

This just tells me that we are about to see a bunch of new race facilities built about 50 to 70 years away from the advance of urban sprawl.

So who knows any investor types?

lnlogauge
lnlogauge HalfDork
12/18/22 1:30 p.m.

In reply to RossD :

Do you know any small race tracks that have opened lately? I don't.  

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle UltraDork
12/18/22 4:45 p.m.

Anyone who thinks Manatee County will decide not to add 4,500 houses -- each taxed at $5,000 or more PER YEAR - is crazy.

Garrett is gonna have to buy the surrounding land to win this round. His son will eventually develop the land for houses, take a huge windfall profit and close the track.

Capitalism is the best. 

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) SuperDork
12/18/22 4:49 p.m.

You all have put forth why I spun off the other thread.

What can we as a community do to stop this?

I got a group of local kids to go to the track rather than race on the street. What if that track closed?

Fortunately NH tracks are pretty well established, at least the big ones. We have NHRA and NASCAR, Le Mons, SCCA, Drift, etc.

Man, I'd hate to not have any.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
12/18/22 4:59 p.m.

In reply to preach (dudeist priest) :

Hit the easy button- work with the local community instead of fighting it.  Fighting a community has never won, as least as far as I can remember.  Nobody has the right to race car, so treat it as a privilege and work it like that.  Especially understand why communities don't like race cars.

I know it's hard to fathom, but car enthusiasts are very, very much in the minority.  Then scale that down to the people who want to race their car.  Here in Metro Detroit, I'm betting there are 2000-5000 people who participate in racing of some type (drag racing, road racing, etc) and that's in a 4.3M metro area.  That's not a voting battle racers can win.   (mind you, the racers don't include the car people who are at the Dream Cruise- most of them just show off)

edit- money is a huge deal- and car people can use that to their advantage if they bother to work instead of fight.  We have an annual car even here in Ann Arbor, and knowing some of the restaurant owners- that one night is better than the 4 days of Art Fair that are the following week.  Get data, use it right- show how everyone is better with racers than fighting.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia UltraDork
12/18/22 5:39 p.m.

Fontana Speedway is on an old Iron mill / foundry

The city was so happy to have something there as it really is a toxic waste site , but now it paved !

 I hope Cleetus. Gets to stay ....

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
12/18/22 5:58 p.m.

Some places the writing was on the wall 25+ years ago.  This is how Sante Fe Speedway ended.

 

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle UltraDork
12/18/22 6:01 p.m.

I hope he gets to stay too - but residential development down there is a runaway freight train. I don't see it stopping.

I do think Cleet's "compatible use" argument was solid. He is rightfully trying to find some (any) concessions. Maybe the county could require the developer to build with laminated glass (for sound and for storms)..?

The video above is also insightful - it reminded me of my grandparents house in Xenia, OH which had Kil-Kare raceway and speedway about a mile away and over the hill. I remember hearing the drone of roundy round racing but you'd FEEL the drag races. I suspect that nothing but distance will diminish the sound. 

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
12/18/22 6:12 p.m.

 Came here to mention Waterford Hills, built in the 1950s, but thats been done. 

Horse farms are another facility that is being lost rapidly.

L5wolvesf
L5wolvesf Dork
12/18/22 7:19 p.m.

Who knows any investor types?

Investors get in the investing game for the profit. The profit is most likely in developing the property.

 

Do you know any small race tracks that have opened lately? 

Recently got Permit approved. It is in the middle of nowhere.

https://www.facebook.com/DesertWestSpeedway/

The middle of nowhere is where a new rack can survive the sprawl. But it ends up being far from the people who want to see, and pay for, being a spectator. Examples being; Buttonwillow and High Plains (middle of farmland), Inde (outside of Tucson), Chuckwalla (middle of the desert), Hastings

What can we as a community do to stop this?

IMO a track needs a stable, well funded, respectable, responsible owner. They may be quite rare

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