PENSKE RACING PROPOSED TEST TRACK NEWS/RUMORS
- Penske pulls proposal for test track: Penske Racing South says it is withdrawing plans for a ¾-mile banked oval test track near Mooresville -- for now. Roger Penske, chairman of Penske Performance, Inc., said today that Penske Racing South has withdrawn its application for a conditional use rezoning request of approximately 54 acres of property on its Mazeppa Road site that would allow the company to add a test track about the same size as Richmond International Speedway. “In this way we can more fully communicate our plans to all our neighbors and to those others who have expressed an interest in this matter,” Penske said. “This action provides an opportunity for a better and more constructive dialogue which can only benefit the county and its citizens." The request, which was submitted to the Iredell County Planning Department on Aug. 14 and unanimously recommended for denial by the Iredell County Planning Board on Sept. 5, was slated to be considered by county commissioners at Tuesday's meeting. Don Miller, president of Penske Racing South, said Roger Penske made the decision last night in the interest of allowing the company time to put together an "educational process" that will help neighbors of the project and concerned citizens to better understand the proposal. "He decided it was best for us to step back at this moment," said Miller. "There's so much misinformation out there about what's going on and what's not going on." Miller said Penske plans to resubmit his application for the test track in the future but did not offer a time frame.(Mooresville Tribune)(11-7-2007)
- Public hearing on Penske test track is postponed: A public hearing for a proposed racing test track near Mooresville, NC has been postponed until Nov. 6. The hearing, before the Iredell County Board of Commissioners, was originally scheduled for Oct. 2. Commissioners decided Tuesday to move the date after a request from Penske Racing. County Planning and Development Director Ron Smith said attorneys for Penske emailed him asking to move the date because the company wanted time to address neighbors’ concerns about the test-track plans. Penske is proposing to build the half-mile facility at its racing shops in the Mooresville Business Park.(Mooresville Tribune)(9-27-2007)
- Rejection of Penske test track recommended: Iredell County [NC] commissioners should deny Penske Racing permission to build a test track off Mazeppa Road near Mooresville [NC], the Iredell County Planning Board voted late Wednesday [9-5]. Fueled by about 200 opponents in the audience who were concerned primarily about noise, the board voted 9-0 against the $21 million track. The Planning Board is a citizen advisory board and the final say rests with the commissioners, who will consider Penske's plans on Oct. 2.(Charlotte Observer/Thatsracin)(9-7-2007)
- Penske Racing to create test track in Mooresville, NC: Penske Racing plans to build a test track in Mooresville similar in size and layout to the track at Richmond International Raceway. The 54-acre site on Mazeppa Road would include 1/4- and 1/2-mile ovals within the 3/4-mile oval track, and a 1.8-mile road course, documents filed with the Iredell County Planning Department show. At its neighboring race shop, Mooresville-based Penske already designs, makes and tests high-performance vehicles for competition in the Nextel Cup and Busch series, Indy Racing League, and Automobile Racing Club of America and American LeMans series. The test track also would accommodate law-enforcement training and recreational motorsports, but is not for spectators paying admission, Penske says in its filing with the county. Testing would be between 8am and 6pm/et, according to the filing. The acreage now includes two ball fields and a vacant lot. The land is zoned for heavy industrial uses, including race tracks, Iredell County Planner Rebecca Harper said.
Penske proposes putting in landscaping along the track property's railroad boundary to obscure the track's view from Mazeppa Road, and adding landscaping along Penske Way, which leads off Mazeppa. The company would leave the woods on the west side of the property as a noise buffer. Industry border the other three sides. Penske Racing South president Don Miller could not be reached Thursday. The Iredell County Planning Board will consider the plan at 7pm Wednesday. The planning staff is recommending approval. County commissioners are expected to consider the board's recommendation in October.(Charlotte Observer)(8-31-2007)
- Penske Plans to build track near shop: Roger Penske has now consolidated all three of his teams -- his NASCAR, Indy Racing League and American LeMans groups -- under one enormous roof in Mooresville, N.C. That includes approximately 260 employees working in a state-of-the-art, 425,000-square foot, shop. It is an impressive campus that includes a wind tunnel and a seven-post vehicle dynamics rig, and now with all the teams, all the engineers, all the employees under one roof, the thought is there can be plenty of knowledge sharing. For instance, a Cup crew chief can study the aerodynamics of an open-wheel car and apply what he learns to the Cup car, particularly the new Car of Tomorrow. Penske said he is finalizing plans to build a test track near the shop. There is plenty of land to spare, and about 70 acres will be used. "We could build an oval that's the size of the Richmond [International Raceway]," Penske said, referring to the .75-mile track. "And we'd put a road course in. We look at it as a test track, but our sponsors could use it. There's lot of different things you could use something like that for, so I think it will be terrific." Penske is, of course, thinking out of the box yet again. He figures that the test track would cut the expenses of going on the road for testing, and it would eliminate some of the travel wear-and-tear on the drivers and crews. Of course, Penske figures the test facility could be used for sponsor and customer entertainment, as well.(ESPN.com) AND NASCAR.com had something posted about this in January but never noticed it or found it.(3-20-2007)