Washington in lead over Oregon for track

Plans to build a superspeedway capable of playing host to NASCAR Nextel Cup races in Oregon are on hold as officials with developer International Speedway Corp. pursue opportunities in Washington. Grant Lynch, president of ISC subsidiary Great Northwest Sports, said Tuesday that previous progress and investments are leading ISC to focus on Washington for a project in the Northwest.

ISC has spent more than $1 million in lobbyists and other efforts to site and build a facility within 30 miles of Seattle. We're just kind of in a holding pattern right now to see how things work out in Washington," Lynch said. "I think it's safe to say with all the effort we've put in Washington, we're focusing up there."

ISC announced last fall that it had chosen a site near Marysville, Wash., but by November the deal was off. Since then, Lynch has toured and researched dozens of sites in Washington and Oregon.

Neil Handy, co-chair of a campaign to bring the speedway to a tract of land occupied by the shuttered Reynolds Aluminum plant in Troutdale, said Lynch told him and other members of the Cascade Speedway and Sportsplex Committee of ISC's plans last Thursday. Earlier that day, Lynch had been in Salem meeting with representatives of the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department and Gov. Ted Kulongoski's office.

"We'll keep working on it and be ready in case it falls through again," Handy said. "Everything's still in place to go forward." But for now, any such complex in the Northwest probably will be built in Washington. A site in Kitsap County south of the Bremerton National Airport is considered the frontrunner. Portland Oregonian

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