Failed NYC track cost ISC

Former Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari quietly collected $1.5 million lobbying for the failed bid to bring NASCAR racing to the Big Apple, The NY Post reports.

International Speedway Corp., the nation's largest motor-sports operator, paid Molinari's lobbying firm $15,000 a month from June 2004 to December 2006 to help obtain government approvals for a proposed 82,500-seat stock-car raceway in Staten Island, according to lobbying records filed with the state.

But ISC also paid the Molinari Group an extra $35,000 monthly over the same period to help generate community support for the plan through a separate contract previously unknown to the public, sources familiar with the deal said.

The NASCAR developer wound up dropping both the plan and Molinari after fierce opposition from local politicians and residents.

ISC recently replaced Molinari with another New York politician-turned-lobbyist – former Council Speaker Peter Vallone.

The Queens Democrat was hired to help ISC expedite the sale of the 675-acre site it owns near the Goethals Bridge, once eyed for the raceway and a retail center.

The company spent more than $150 million on the failed bid, including in excess of $100 million to obtain 440 acres of the property.

"The Molinari Group performed well for us and has a great niche in Staten Island, but now we need someone like Peter, who has broader citywide appeal," said Michael Printup, an ISC project manager.

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