SPOKANE -- Spokane County officials support SCR operator Craig Smith’s decision to cancel racing at the Oval Track for the remainder of the racing season.
Spokane County owns the land the raceway is on and leases it to Raceway Investments which rents the tracks to others throughout the year.
Smith of Raceway Investments called off the remainder of the season unless he is paid the $27,000 he is owed by Full Blown Promotions, which operates the Oval Track.
“I have obligations. I can't allow any more racing, any more expense going on my part over at the oval track until the back bills are cleaned up,” Smith said.
Smith had said had hoped to finish out the season, but changed his mind Tuesday.
“I can’t allow a free show any further,” he said.
Smith said a racing group approached him that wants to come up with the funds owned for back rent. If the group can come through with the money, Smith said he would allow racing at the Oval Track to continue.
Full Blown Promotions is run by mother and son team Sheri and Brycen Tarr who claimed changes at the raceway have made it difficult to pay what she owes. She said her contract agreement said she would pay $2,500 for Friday races and $3,500 for Saturday races.
Smith cancelled the races on Fridays because he said it was more profitable to combine days. Friday Night Drags and Saturday Summit Series were turned into one event that occurred approximately two Saturdays per month for a total of 26 events.
Spokane County Parks Director Doug Chase, who oversees the contract, said Smith worked closely with the county and got input from spectators and participants of the Drag Strip, which resulted in the modified schedule.
“Mr. Smith has indicated this schedule change was well received and has resulted in higher participation and spectator turn-out,” Chase said in a statement. “Spokane County has and continues to be supportive of this schedule change and we appreciate Craig Smith’s willingness to work with our local racers and fans to provide exciting events and sustainable operations at a quality venue.”
Chase also denied allegations made by racers and fans that Raceway Investments was under Investigation by the State Liquor Board. He said the company’s liquor license was in ‘good standing.’
Tarr complained that lack of alcohol sales made it impossible for her to pay her lease.
Smith said he will have a new management group for the oval track in place for next season.
Othello Richards and Honora Swanson contributed to this report.