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PORTLAND, Maine — This weekend seemingly marked the ultimate common race meet at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough. Monitor proprietor Andy Cusack introduced the monitor was underneath contract to actual property builders on the year-end awards ceremony after the races Saturday night time.
Beech Ridge First opened in Might 1949.
Cusack advised the hushed crowd that he’d obtained a random telephone name from out-of-state land builders this yr.
“It took a very long time however, on the finish of the day, they made me a suggestion you wouldn’t refuse,” he mentioned. “The worth of the speedway is surpassed by the worth of the property. It’s a matter of economics.”
The close by Scarborough Downs horse racing monitor, which opened in 1950, closed in 2020 after being bought to builders in 2018 for $6.7 million.
Cusack mentioned he needed to make the announcement in the course of the awards ceremony in individual and never simply on the monitor’s Fb web page within the offseason.
“You guys matter. This place issues,” he mentioned.
The information shocked the group, in line with a number of individuals who have been there, with many breaking into tears. Within the pits, drivers placed on smoke exhibits, burning out the tires they’ll not want.
Because the information hit social media, some race followers have been unsurprised on the information.
“Who didn’t see this coming? Automobile counts dwindled yearly, the grandstands appeared barren each week,” mentioned Ed Johnson, moderator of a Beech Ridge Fb group.
“This monitor has been a lifestyle for many people right here in Southern Maine,” Melissa Bourgeois-Lang mentioned. “Really stunning, even listening to the rumors for a number of years now and seeing the decline in spectators.”
“With the worth of the land and the wrestle to make racing worthwhile, it was inevitable,” Andy Meserve mentioned.
Cusack left open the opportunity of a 2022 race season if the deal fell by means of for some motive within the off season.
James B. McConnell of Scarborough first opened Beech Ridge’s famed third-of-a-mile dust oval 72 years in the past on land he’d cleared in a timber-cutting operation. Two-time monitor champion and flagman Calvin Reynolds of Buxton purchased the monitor in 1973.
In 1981, Reynolds bought it to 12-time monitor champion Ralph Cusack, who was on the speedway the day it opened in 1949. Cusack paved it in 1986, then bought it to his sons Glenn and Andy Cusack in 1997. Andy turned sole proprietor in 1999.
Although common racing is now over for the season, Beech ridge has two remaining occasions on its schedule. They embrace a demolition derby and the amature wildcat sequence showdown.
If Beech Ridge closes for good, Oxford Plains Speedway, Speedway 95 and Wiscasset Speedway will probably be Maine’s solely three remaining automobile race tracks.
A name to Andy Cusack was not instantly returned Sunday morning.