One of Arizona's longest-running motorsports park closed - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

One of Arizona's longest-running motorsports park closed


Maricopa County is throwing a red flag on one of Arizona's longest-running motorsports parks.

The sounds of the track are gone, but the people who love to race at Speedworld Raceway Park in Wittmann spoke out Saturday morning.

"Speedworld is the best place," said Richard Sawitskas.

"It's a family event for us, we all go out together," said Kimijo Mareska.

The track has been in a legal battle with Maricopa County for years largely over zoning violations.

"The county is changing the deal. You've got compliance by the owners side and then non-compliance more or less by the county side," said one of the park's promoters Rey Martinez.

But as of three weeks ago, the county issued a cease and desist letter until a deal is made so the park has not been open for three weeks.

"I'm facing being out of business if something doesn't get resolved soon," said Martinez.

From drag racing to dirt bikes and mud bogging, the 344-acre track is home to all types of racing and it hosts major events too.

"Lucas Oil has just moved their race that was going to happen in Speedworld to Nevada, so we've lost that," said Mareska.

"Thousands of dollars have been lost not only at the facility but in the community around the facility as well," said Martinez.

Drivers lapped the capitol building today hoping to get the attention of the governor, to get the checkered flag waiving once again over the motorsports park.

"Please keep it open," said Mareksa. "Do whatever it takes to keep it open and work this out."

Another concern of drivers is that if the park closes permanently, illegal street racing may increase.  

A representative of Maricopa County was not available for comment.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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