All posts tagged championspeedway

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Champion Speedway is All Cleaned Up

Posted Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Last year I published the remarkable pictures from the ruins of the Champion Speedway. The old reacetrack had been abandoned for a few years, and had accumulated an impressive amount of graffiti and vandalism. The city wanted it cleaned up, and the housing developer that owned the land was in the process of being foreclosed. Finally the bank took control of the land and agreed to clean up the area, and that’s the last I heard about it.

So I had some extra time today and I went out to see what it was looking like these days. Somebody sure cleaned it up, whether it was the bank or the city or the developer or whoever. The entire grandstand structure, as well as the little house that was behind it, has been wiped out and covered with dirt. The track is still there, all torn up, as well as the other concrete buildings nearby. But the whole place is a lot less of a public hazard now that the worst of it has been demolished. Here are a few pictures of what’s left of the speedway.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Champion Speedway to be Cleaned Up

Posted Thursday, August 21, 2008 at 7:32 PM

The story of the Champion Speedway won’t stop. Now that the developers have defaulted on their loans, the land the speedway sits on is held by the Bank of the West. The city has been scrambling lately to find someone who will take responsibility for the mess that is the former Speedway site, and this week the bank stepped up and said they would take care of it.

So the bank is going to shoulder the cost of demolition and cleanup of the old racetrack, which is expected to start in the next couple of months. The pricetag is expected to be $100,000 or more to get rid of the vandalized structure.

Full story at NewsCarsonCity and the Nevada Appeal.

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Champion Speedway Being Foreclosed

Posted Saturday, July 5, 2008 at 9:07 AM

There’s another wrinkle in the story of the Champion Speedway. Dave Morgan reports that the land the speedway sits on, which was sold three years ago to a housing developer, is being foreclosed. An auction will be held at the end of the month to find a new owner for the property, and the new owner may or may not decide to go on with the plans to build houses on the site.

All of this puts the future of the speedway even more in limbo, and actually makes it look more likely that the city will just tear it down itself, or at least clean up the more dangerous parts, and send the bill to the new owners.

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Champion Speedway Disaster Zone

Posted Saturday, June 28, 2008 at 3:07 PM

Some time ago the stories hit the web about the Champion Motor Speedway and the sad state that it was in. The old speedway, if you remember, sat at the south end of town, out past Stewart. It opened in 1963 as the Tahoe-Carson Speedway, and later became the Silver State Raceway. It closed in 2005 when a housing developer made an offer on the land that was too good to refuse. Reynen & Bardis planned to build the Schulz Ranch housing development on the speedway site, but that was about the same time the housing market started to slump. So Schulz Ranch was never built, but more importantly to our story, the old speedway was never torn down. The track, the stands, the announcer booths, concessions, and repair shops, all sat there closed and abandoned in the desert. And if you know anything about the history of abandoned buildings in remote environments, you’ll know that this old speedway was a perfect candidate for vandalism.

And oh boy, did the vandalism come. It came in waves, and it came over and over again. Every inch of the speedway has been smashed, trashed, ripped apart, splintered, punched in, blown out, graffitied, and generally destroyed. The racetrack sits now as a monument to what bored kids with a lot of pent up rage can accomplish, and is actually one of the more impressive spots in Carson City now because of it. The city sees it, probably rightly so, as an eyesore and safety hazard, and they want it taken care of. They either want Reynen & Bardis to tear it down, or the new idea is that they’ll go in there and clean it up themselves, and send Reynen & Bardis the bill.

But anyway, through all this I decided I had to see the speedway for myself. So I went last week, and what I saw was amazing. Every flat surface has graffiti on it, most of the walls are smashed in, a few support beams have collapsed, every inch of the place is covered in trash and debris, entire parts of the structure have been flattened, and the whole upper deck, which probably seated at least a hundred people, is gone. Like UFOs took it.

So I want to present a photo essay on the state of the Champion Speedway. Especially if cleanup efforts are going to start soon, this will soon pass into history entirely. I’ll also be tossing in some pictures from when the speedway was still open and operating. These old photos were generously donated by Andy Daddario, a race fan from California who wrote a whole series of articles after the racetrack closed looking back on its history. I suggest you go read them, and I recommend you make a trip out to the speedway to see it for yourself. But if you can’t, enjoy the photos.

Champion Motor Speedway Vandalism Champion Motor Speedway Vandalism

Champion Motor Speedway Vandalism Champion Motor Speedway Vandalism

Champion Motor Speedway Vandalism

Champion Motor Speedway Vandalism Champion Motor Speedway Vandalism

Champion Motor Speedway Vandalism Champion Motor Speedway Vandalism

Champion Motor Speedway Vandalism

Champion Motor Speedway Vandalism Champion Motor Speedway Vandalism

Champion Motor Speedway Vandalism

Champion Motor Speedway Vandalism Champion Motor Speedway Vandalism

Champion Motor Speedway Vandalism

There is also a mobile home next door, probably home to the owners or caretakers of the speedway. It is also trashed beyond belief.

Champion Motor Speedway Vandalism Champion Motor Speedway Vandalism

Champion Motor Speedway Vandalism Champion Motor Speedway Vandalism

If you made it this far, you’ll undoubtedly want to visit Flickr and see all the pictures.

Update, May 2009: As promised, someone went in this winter and demolished the old speedway. The track is still there, but the stands and all the buildings are gone. aroundcarson.com/2009/04/30/champion_speedway_is_all_cleaned_up

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Champion Speedway a Shambles

Posted Friday, June 13, 2008 at 5:18 PM

I never went out to the Champion Speedway to watch any races, but for anyone who did, the latest news coming out of there has to be pretty sad. The Speedway was open for 42 years at the south end of town, past Stewart Street along Bigelow Drive. The racetrack was home to many car races over the years, but dwindling attendance and noise complaints from new neighbors led to the owners being more and more frustrated with operating it. When developers approached them, wanting to buy the land for a housing development, they eagerly accepted.

That was three years ago. The housing development has been delayed many times since then, and the racetrack has become a hotbed of graffiti and vandalism. The Grandstands and announcer booths have been demolished, splinter by splinter, by local vandals. And the trash and debris has been scattered all over the track. Now Carson City wants the developer to at least clean up the land so that it’s not a public hazard, and the developer is still dragging their feet.

Until then, the old racetrack is a post-apocalyptic mess of graffiti, bashed-up buildings, and trash. NewsCarsonCity had the story last week, and the Carson Times followed it up today. Head over there for pictures and video.

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