Pikes Peak International Raceway to be sold, dismantled
FOUNTAIN ” Owners of the Pikes Peak International Raceway said Friday the track will be shut down and sold to a company that plans to move equipment to other race venues around the country and to sell off the track’s 1,200 acres.
Rob Johnson, president of the raceway, said the track will be sold to Rocky Mountain Speedway Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Speedway Corp. of Daytona Beach, Fla. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close within a week, were not disclosed.
“Today is a loss for Colorado motorsports,” Johnson said. “I’m shocked. I didn’t think this would happen.”
He said ISC will close the track after Oct. 31 and move grandstands, furniture and other equipment and structures to other racetracks. ISC owns or operates 11 tracks including Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.
Johnson said his 16 permanent employees will be given severance packages.
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He said the move had nothing to do with an announcement about two weeks go that the Indy Racing League would drop the track next year because of uncertainty about its ownership, safety concerns and a scheduling disagreement.
“I didn’t know about any of this until a week ago,” Johnson said.
He said under a management agreement, ISC had the right to match any bids if PPIR put the track up for sale. Johnson said track officials last spring said they would look for a buyer.
“This purchase further strengthens our ability to capitalize on future growth opportunities, including internal expansion initiatives,” John Saunders, ISC’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.
Pikes Peak has had 10 IRL races in the past nine years. Tony Stewart won the inaugural race, the June 1997 Samsonite 200, which drew about 38,100 spectators.
The venue also has been host to NASCAR, SCCA and IMSA-sanction events, along with musical shows, public and private driving schools and racing clubs.
The old Pikes Peak Meadows horse race track was converted into the PPIR in 1997. It has room for up to 42,000 spectators and offers a 1-mile, D-shape oval and a 1.32-mile road course.
On the Net:
Pikes Peak International Raceway: http://www.ppir.com/
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