With the tough current economy facing the American people, which has brought all-time record high fuel prices that's led to an overall higher cost of living, as of Monday, May 12, Volunteer Speedway owner Joe Loven has been forced to make the decision to take the rest of the month of May off from racing at "The Gap." The next scheduled racing action at Volunteer Speedway will be Saturday, June 7.
Along with the tough economy, other contributing factors that led to making the decision are other regional dirt-tracks holding special late model events over the coming weeks, along with the Saturday night televised NASCAR races which began two weekend's ago with Richmond and then this past weekend at Darlington, and now this coming Saturday night will be the All-Star event at Lowe's Motor Speedway being on TV. Also this coming weekend, the National Hot Rod Association drag races will be at Bristol Dragway (which also will be televised on ESPN2) along with the United Auto Racing Association late model event under the lights Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway. Then there's Memorial Day weekend, which is traditionally the kick-off into summer, plus over the next couple of weeks families' around the region have high school graduations to attend.
"This is not just a quick decision I've made, I've struggled with it … it's been developing over the past several weeks," said Volunteer Speedway owner Joe Loven. "Operating a racetrack is a business, and the bottom line is that currently it's a tough time running a racetrack. The crowds are down significantly compared to last year, and I feel it's directly attributed to our ailing economy. I feel with our weekly adult admission price being only $8, that's a real bargain. But it's not a bargain if people just can't afford to spend any money besides what it takes to pay their bills associated with their daily living costs. Not just from the business standpoint of operating a racetrack though are things tough, but more importantly the American people are struggling with higher costs of living brought on by almost daily fuel price increases, and that's just led to overall higher prices at grocery stores and other businesses.
"When you factor in people's increased daily costs of living, what it's boiled down to is a lot of race fans are just faced with the situation of not having extra money to attend weekly racing. Families' have to first take care of themselves by paying their bills associated with daily living before they can think about possibly seeing if they have extra money to come out and attend a night of racing. And when you take into consideration that families' are struggling with daily living costs, if there's a NASCAR race televised and you can stay home and watch it for free, that's what many people are doing. Look at current gas prices of around $3.65 a gallon, and diesel prices of over $4 a gallon. People have to buy fuel to put in their vehicle to drive to and from work on a daily basis, but I've noticed many are just cutting way back on their driving … only making the necessary trips to and from work and to grocery stores. They're just not out joyriding around sightseeing for pleasure."... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.