Memphis Motorsports Park
Memphis Motorsports Park open for testing: The oval track at Memphis International Raceway is open for training. The raceway's new owner, Moroso Investment Partners, said Thursday that the three-quarter-mile paved oval track is ready for stock car racing after months of facility improvements. Moroso says two of the facility's three race tracks have received clearance to host racing events. Crews have scraped and ground the drag racing surface, installed and upgraded a computerized timing system, and improved and painted concession stands and restrooms. Oval track rental prices start at $5,000 per day for one to four race cars and increases to $5,500 per day for five to six cars. Moroso closed the $2 million deal to buy the former Memphis Motorsports Park in January. The last NASCAR event held there was in 2009.(Associated Press)(6-17-2011)
Memphis Motorsports deal closes: Moroso Investment Partners, the ownership group of Palm Beach International Raceway, has closed the transaction on purchasing the Memphis Motorsports Parkfrom Dover Motorsports Inc. for $2 million. Moroso was the high bidder at an auction Dec. 14. The purchase includes all 342 acres, including a quarter-mile drag strip, a three-quarter-mile paved oval and a road course. A news release Monday from Moroso said the new owners hope to have the track open in April. Dover Motorsports closed the park in November 2009. Pam Kendrick has been named vice president and general manger of the facility. She previously was senior director of administration and finance of the facility under Dover Motorsports. Chris Sowell has been named facilities manager. The Memphis facility will reopen sanctioned as an IHRA facility, with Summit Super Series bracket racing and weekly test and tune sessions, the release said.(Memphis Commercial Appeal)(2-1-2011)
Memphis track sold: After being vacant for more than a year, Memphis Motorsports Park sold at a live auction Tuesday morning for slightly less than $1.9 million. Independent investor Joe Lubeck placed the highest bid for the tract – $1.875 million – after the bidding opened at $3 million. Lubeck is managing partner of Jupiter, Fla.-based Palm Beach International Raceway, formerly Moroso Motorsports Park. Jason Rittenburry, Lubeck’s partner, ran the track for 11 years. The bidding took place onsite at one of the facility’s parcels, 5500 Victory Lane, near Millington. The property’s two tracts were sold as a whole after Morris Auction Group LLC had publicized it could be sold as separate tracts or together. The multi-track complex includes a 0.75-mile asphalt oval, a 0.25-mile championship drag strip and a 1.77-mile road course. The auction drew a big crowd but only a few serious bidders. After no bids at the opening price, Morris Auction Group quickly dropped the price to $2 million and then $1.5 million. In April, Andy Cates and Preston Thomas of Colliers International listed Memphis Motorsports Park for $6 million, a price “substantially below value,” according to the website created by the commercial real estate firm to sell the property. A 10 percent buyer’s premium was added to Lubeck’s bid, bringing the total to $2,062,500. The closing will be within the next 30 days at the law offices of Harris Shelton Hanover Walsh PLLC. The real estate sold within less than 10 minutes of the auction’s open. The personal property was then sold individually, including everything from tractors to kitchen equipment. In all likelihood, the property will remain a motorsports park. Tuesday’s auction comes after the NASCAR and NHRA 2011 schedules have been released. While the NHRA has 140 tracks, Memphis was one of only 23 to host a national event and was sanctioned in 1988 as the host site of the Mid-South Nationals. “I can only imagine that it would be challenging to try to be added to their schedule at this point,” [Gary Camp, director of communications at Dover] said. “But the facility is in great shape, and with some minor work, both the NHRA and the Motorsports oval could be race ready.”(Memphis Daily News)(12-15-2010)
Memphis Motorsports Park up for auction UPDATE: With vacant Memphis Motorsports Park failing to produce a buyer after seven months on the market, the owner is putting the multi-track facility up for auction. Dover Motorsports Inc., owner of the Millington racing facility, previously had MMP listed with Colliers International, a commercial real estate firm, for $6 million. Although the property attracted several interested parties, there were no bids. The live auction will be handled by Morris Auction, which owner Jeff Morris confirmed will take place Dec. 14 at 5500 Tay-For Road in Millington. The highest bidder will be required to pay a 10% bid deposit on the day of the auction, of which $100,000 must be a cashier's check. The rest of the deposit must be made by a company check.
The 375 acres up for auction include a three-quarter-mile oval NASCAR track, a quarter-mile drag strip, a 1.77-mile road course, an 8,500-square-foot office building, seven concession stands and 28 climate-controlled suites. MMP opened in 1987 and was home to more than 150 annual events, including NASCAR Nationwide Series, Camping World Truck Series, and NHRA races. After owning MMP for 11 years, Dover closed the track in October 2009. It closed another of its facilities -- Gateway International Speedway in St. Louis -- last week.(Memphis Commercial Appeal)(11-13-2010)
UPDATE: Dover Motorsports, Inc., the owner of Memphis Motorsports Park, has retained Morris Auction Group to conduct the sale of the Memphis Motorsports Park at auction, which will take place Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010 at 10 a.m. The live auction will be held on site at the former NASCAR and NHRA racing facility, 5500 Victory Lane, Memphis, Tenn., which is located just off Fite Road in north Memphis. The auction is open to the public and bidder's registration will begin at 8 a.m. The auction will include the entire racing facility including the racetrack, drag strip, road course, all equipment, tools, furniture and other personalty.
The real estate will be offered in two tracts. Tract 1 contains approximately 115 acres and the ¾ mile, oval, former NASCAR racetrack. Tract 2 contains approximately 227 acres and the former NHRA drag strip and road course. Bidders may bid on Tract 1, Tract 2 or both.
The auction's personal property includes Kawasaki Mules, tractors, restaurant equipment, vehicles, office furniture, shop tools and equipment, and much more. All items will be available to preview prior to the auction on Monday, Dec. 13 from 10:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m.
For more information about the Memphis Motorsports Auction, including bidding requirements, directions, photos and a complete inventory list, please visit www.MorrisAuctionGroup.com and click on Upcoming Auctions.(12-1-2010)
Memphis Motorsports Park for sale: Located on 375 acres in north Shelby County, Memphis Motorsports Park is one of the nation's most versatile racing facilities. The former site of more than 150 annual events including NASCAR Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series races, as well as a number of NHRA races, this facility was opened in 1987. Zoned I-H or heavy industrial, the property includes: .75 mile oval NASCAR track, .25 mile drag strip, 1.77 mile road course, 8,500 SF office building, 7 concession stands, 28 total climate-controlled suites. Site is eligible for consideration as a test track by NASCAR teams. Additional uses might include an amateur track, driving school, or racing simulation attraction. $6 million sale price is substantially below value. See more info at memphismotorsportsparkforsale.com.(7-23-2010)
Dover Motorsports writes down value of Memphis track: Without its NASCAR and National Hot Rod Association events, Memphis Motorsports Park, which was going to be sold for $10 million before the potential buyer couldn't secure financing, has dropped in value by $7.478 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Dover Motorsports, which announced Friday it was closing the Memphis facility that included a .75-mile oval where NASCAR conducted one Camping World Truck and one Nationwide series race a year, noted the write-down in its third quarter results. Dover had been listing the value of the Memphis track as $10 million, so with the write-down it now lists the facility's value without its NASCAR and NHRA events as $2.522 million. Dover also noted that its NASCAR weekend in September saw lower attendance, sponsorships and corporate spending as a result of the weak economy and poor weather. For the first nine months of 2009 - which is virtually Dover's entire racing season with the exception of the Memphis Nationwide race - Dover has recorded a net loss of $1.324 million compared with a net profit in 2008 of $6.398 million.(SceneDaily)(11-3-2009)
Rittenberry moves to PBIR: Jason Rittenberry has been named president and chief executive officer of Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter, Florida. Rittenberry will be replacing Ron Dixon, who will be moving on from the day to day operating role he has held for the past year. Rittenberry, 34, comes to Palm Beach International Raceway from Memphis Motorsports Park, where he has served as vice president and general manager since 2001 and will report directly to the Management Committee of the partnership group that owns PBIR. (PBIR)(10-31-2009)
Dover Motorsports shuts down Memphis track: Dover Motorsports, Inc. announced that it was ceasing all operations at Memphis Motorsports Park and that it would not be promoting any events in Memphis in 2010. As previously announced, the Memphis facility had been under an agreement of sale to Gulf Coast Entertainment but Gulf Coast was unable to secure financing. "This was a difficult decision for us, but one that ultimately was dictated by economics," said Denis McGlynn, President and CEO of Dover Motorsports. "We greatly appreciate the many years of dedication shown by our Memphis employees and their efforts to make Memphis such a great destination for the racing community - from racing fans and drivers to sponsors, team owners and sanctioning bodies. For all concerned, including the Memphis community, it is truly sad to see Memphis Motorsports Park taken off the racing schedule. NASCAR has approved the realignment of our NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series events from Memphis Motorsports Park to our Nashville and Gateway facilities."
The realigned events and dates are as follows:
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Nashville Superspeedway, April 2, 2010, (together with NASCAR Nationwide Series event on April 3, 2010)
NASCAR Nationwide Series, Gateway International Raceway, October 23, 2010.(Dover Motorsports PR)(10-30-2009)