CAROLINA FOREST, SC (WBTW) – The Myrtle Beach Speedway may become a mixed-used development, its owner says.
“We’re in talks but there’s nothing confirmed,” speedway president and CEO Bob Lutz said. “It’s just a conversation right now and a lot of speculation.”
Lutz said he was approached by a developer that is interested in buying the lot from him. The developer would put in shopping, apartments and office space should the deal go through.
The deal is contingent on Horry County approving a rezoning to allow for the apartments. Formal plans have not been submitted yet.
“We just don’t get the support that we need in order to keep it as a viable business,” Lutz said. “At some point you just have to say well if its not going to work.”
Many in the racing community have been saddened by the possibility.
“It’s a huge concern,” Avery Moore said. He’s principal of PALM Charter High School. “Myrtle Beach Speedway is a pivotal part of short track racing, especially in this part of the U.S.”
The race track has seen legends like Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Junior hit the pavement since its initial inception in 1958.
PALM Charter is partners with the speedway, which acts as an ‘extension of the classroom’ for students in the school’s motor sports program.
Principal Moore said he’ll have to look into bringing students to tracks in Timmonsville or Dillon if the track were to close.
Councilman Johnny Vaught- whose district includes the speedway- says he’s gotten calls from concerned race fans.
“They’ve reached out to me a lot about what can we do to keep it?” Vaught said. “I said well help it make money. Make it economically feasible for the present owners to keep running the speedway.”
Lutz emphasized support from racers has been positive, but hasn’t been so great among spectators.
He said he’s put a lot of money in to work on and promote the track during the years he’s owned it.
“As I’ve told the racers who have asked, you guys probably are going to race the entire season this year before anything changes,” Lutz said. “It’s a long process but this is right at the very beginning of it.”
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