Why the wheels came off the Staten Island NASCAR plan

This was supposed to be the year the fastest-growing sport in the country would secure its spot in the premier city in the country.

In the end, it was a year of paramount loss.

At the outset of 2006, the executives who run NASCAR and the company that develops many of its racetracks, International Speedway Corp., were optimistic about their plans to build a three-quarter-mile raceway on Staten Island's West Shore and secure the sport's place in New York City.

Michael Printup, ISC's manager for the Island track project, repeatedly referred to 2006 as the project's "hump year," and enthusiastically talked about the marriage between the sport with deep Southern roots, and the city that never sleeps.

But ISC, a company accustomed to success, did not anticipate the land use bureaucracy, the strong political will and the tremendous traffic woes that define this city, and ultimately cost the $2.7 billion company its plan to build a track here, with a view of the Manhattan skyline in the backdrop.

"I think they're figuratively limping out of there like Napoleon out of Russia," said racing writer Monte Dutton of the Gaston Gazette in North Carolina. "They're not used to losing. They're extremely adept." More at Staten Island Advance

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