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Larry Ott: New Stateline Speedway gets green flag

The husband-wife duo of Jim and Jean Scott along with their business partner Brian Horner will be busy “getting their feet wet” at the New Stateline Speedway on Saturday.

Known for 60 years as Stateline Speedway, the track is reopening under a new ownership/management team after being dormant since the end of June.

The popular Busti-based dirt track closed when former promoter Bill Catania Jr., was felled by financial difficulties.

Jim and Jean Scott, along with Horner, signed a lease agreement in early August to operate New Stateline and plan on taking full ownership in a closing set for Sept. 15.

“We will be getting our feet wet when we run our first race this Saturday,” said Jean Scott. “We’ve been a racing family for years and have a lot of experience as far as being racers but we’ve never been on the management side of things before. This is quite a learning curve.”

The new owners are equal partners in the New Stateline venture. Jim Scott is president, Horner vice-president and Jean Scott is the treasurer.

Horner lives in Sugar Grove, Pa., and runs a used auto parts business. The Scotts reside in Garland, Pa., about 20 miles from Stateline. The Scotts are the parents of racer David Scott as well as the grandparents of David’s racing sons, Wyatt and Kyle Scott. They are also grandparents to racer Ryan Scott, son of Robert “Chevy” Scott.

Jim Scott competed from the 1950s through the early 1970s in many forms of racing, including local dirt tracks, USAC stock cars and ARCA races at Daytona and Talladega speedways.

“Jim has talked a lot about getting involved more in race management but nothing ever came of it because we were busy running another business,” Jean said. “It was too hard for us to run two businesses at the same time.

“Over this summer a couple of guys were talking to Brian about possibly buying Stateline and our son Chevy was with them. They asked Chevy to see if Jim might be interested in getting involved so Jim got asked and said okay-yes. Here we are.

“I’ve never raced myself but if I had a penny in my back pocket for every time I’ve sat in grandstand bleachers supporting and watching my family race over these many years, I would now have enough money to pay off the national debt.”

The plan is for New Stateline to run a seven division show on both Saturday and Sept. 12, highlighted by the Super Late Models. The new management team has been busy preparing for this Saturday’s curtain-raiser.

“I hope we have everything ready,” said Jean. “We have re-configured the track a little bit but the most important thing is to just get the track back up and operating. We are not going to race past Sept. 12 this year because we’re hoping for nice fall weather so that we can do more work on the track, perhaps add more clay and to get other projects at New Stateline done before the winter sets in.”

Most important is that this popular track, which has been a fixture for decades for that area’s racing community, has a new life.

“I talked to our attorney today and she assured me that everything is a go for the closing on Sept. 15 and we can tell everyone that following our races these next two weeks that New Stateline Speedway will be racing weekly in 2016 with our race divisions to be determined,” Jean said.

Pit Stops

• What many area dirt track stock car fans feared has indeed happened. After months of speculation DIRT.car officials announced Tuesday that next month’s 44th annual NAPA Super DIRT Week at the one-mile dirt oval in Syracuse will be the last Super DIRT Week contested at the New York State Fairgrounds and the legendary oval known as the “Moody Mile.”

Due to renovations at the New York State Fairgrounds that will include both the elimination of the grandstand and the track, DIRT.car officials will move the Super DIRT Week event to a yet-to-be announced venue elsewhere in Central New York beginning in 2016. Super DIRT Week has been held at the New York State Fairgrounds since its inception in 1972.

Racing of various types and other events have taken place at oval for about 100 years.

“We thank the fans for all of their support during this process,” said DIRT.car CEO Brian Carter. “It will be a bittersweet week but I can’t wait to see all the fans who come out to watch racing at the New York State Fairgrounds for the final time.”

A new host venue will be announced as soon as details become available. The one-mile oval at the New York State Fairgrounds is one of only three one-mile dirt track facilities left in the U.S. There are no other one-mile tracks in Central New York.

Nearly every advertisement and promotional marketing campaign ever launched by Super DIRT Week organizers trumpeted the excitement of watching high speed and high horsepower racing machines on a large track as the main ingredient of what has become a prestigious event.

DIRT.car officials may find it a tough sell to convince fans that the new venue for Super DIRT Week, wherever it may be, will carry the same appeal and prestige that the “Moody Mile” has had for so many fans for so many years.

• Holland Motorsports Complex will close its 2015 NASCAR stock car racing season with the running of the NASCAR Pro Modified Yuengling 100 this Saturday with qualifying heats beginning at 5 p.m.

email: lawrence_o_14075@yahoo.com

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