NASCAR News

NASCAR driver's comment on possible NY City race

 

July 28, 2004

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BLOOMBERG NEWS REPORTED TUESDAY THAT INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY CORPORATION HAS PURCHASED 676 ACRES ON STATEN ISLAND IN NEW YORK CITY, AND PLANS TO BUILD AN 80,000-SEAT THREE-QUARTERS MILE SPEEDWAY THERE.  REPORTS INDICATED THE FIRST RACE NO EARLIER THAN THE 2009 SEASON.


HERE IS WHAT SOME NASCAR COMPETITORS HAD TO SAY:

KYLE PETTY, Driver, #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge:

“You know, there was a time when parts of New York City couldn’t even get our races on television, and that’s our nationally-televised races. Because of some problems with the cable providers, those races didn’t get into parts of the city.

“Now, we’re talking about a race track right there. That’s almost hard to believe. It is really an incredible thing.

“This is a big deal, or will be a big deal, for our sport. Obviously, there are a lot of things left to do and a lot of work ahead but a race track there will be great for us, and will be great for that part of the city too.”

BRANDON WHITT, Driver, #38 Werner Ladder/Cure Autism Now Ford (Truck Series):

“I hope as they start looking at putting things together they won’t forget about the Truck series. A race in New York City would be a major deal for Cup, Busch or Trucks.

“For a young driver (Whitt is 21 years old), racing in New York City is a big deal as an individual and team too. For any racing series, it’s a big deal too.

“You look at other sports – it seems like all athletes want to play in New York at some point in their careers. Alex Rodriguez was a big name, but he became an even bigger name when he went to the Yankees. Gary Sheffield was the same way. Reggie Jackson. That’s just baseball but it happens in every sport, especially when the team is pretty good.

“As good as the racing can be in NASCAR, it can happen for our sport too.”

GREG SACKS, Driver, #13 ARC Dehooker/Vita Coca Dodge (Long Island native):

“When I started racing, it never occurred to me that I could ever race that close to my home town (Mattituck, N.Y.). Sure, the Modifieds run out there some but a Cup race? No way.

“There are a lot more NASCAR fans around New York City than you might think. Having a track there will give them a chance to show it. A race there won’t be just a sellout crowd, it will be a major overflowing crowd.”

KEN SCHRADER, Driver, #49 Schwan’s Home Service Dodge:

“Wherever they want to race is fine with me. I’m good for anywhere.

“I like the idea they are looking at a three-quarters mile, something along the lines of a Richmond, I would hope. That would give them a lot of seats, the ability to add more as they needed them, and some really good racing.

“New Yorkers are like anybody else. You give them some good, close, exciting racing, and they are going to respond pretty favorably to it. Good racing always draws a crowd – in New York City or a dirt track in Missouri.”

DERRIKE COPE, Driver, #49 Advil Ford:

“You take a company like Wyeth, which markets Advil, and a race in New York City would become the closest race to their headquarters. That’s a pretty big deal. But when you think of all of the corporations in New York that are not currently in the sport, well, it adds a tremendous amount of marketing potential not just to the sport, but to every individual race team in the sport.

“This could be – should be – a major move for NASCAR racing.”

The author can be contacted nascar@autoracing1.com

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