A new leaseholder is being sought for Central Texas Speedway, which could mean a delay in the start of the 2017 racing season.
But Rodney Rodriguez, who works as an announcer and promoter with CTS and has been in contact with property owner Rick Coleman, said the venue isn’t planning to close anytime soon.
Late last year, AM Racing, who was the current leaseholder at CTS, announced it was planning not to renew its lease for the 2017 season and beyond.
Rodriguez said AM Racing, which manages a NASCAR truck team, opted to focus its effort full time on the NASCAR circuit.
“They’re looking to take all of those dollars and use them on their NASCAR team. To operate a NASCAR team takes thousands of dollars,” Rodriguez said. “They’re using resources in one place and not spreading them out.”
But once news spread, Rodriguez said much of the racing community was up in arms, as many believed the track was closing down. He said he understood the frustration as he himself has “thousands” of dollars tied up in a racing car he uses at CTS.
Rodriguez said Coleman aims to continue running the track as is. However, he said Coleman didn’t want to facilitate any conversations with prospective leaseholders until after the holidays were over.
“The way the statements were made, it gave an impression the track was closing,” Rodriguez said. “A lot of those teams who invested a lot of money and manpower in racing equipment, they felt they were left in the cold without any warning. They were pretty disturbed, understandably.”
From a business standpoint, Rodriguez understood AM Racing’s motives behind the move. However, he said he was disappointed the move could mean a delay.
“It hurts for our drivers and fans who have such a great following and that they’re in the dark, that bothers me,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a great group of people. It’s a second family out there.”
For Rodriguez and many others who have raced at CTS, the track is a place where drivers young and old can have “their dreams come true in a lot of senses.”
“Guys that have grown up as racing fans, they’ve been conditioned to do this. They’ve been waiting for years to be able to get on the track and compete,” Rodriguez said. “A lot of the disappointment and anger is understandable. This is something they’ve worked for and strived for.”