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Houston Raceway Park’s closing in 2022 sparks concern of avenue racing taking up metropolis streets

BAYTOWN, Texas (KTRK) — Race followers, after 35 years, the Houston Raceway Park in Baytown will flash the inexperienced lights for the final time.

A submit on the raceway’s web site stated the top of the 2022 NHRA will “sign the top of an period in Texas motorsports historical past.”

“Our household is extraordinarily proud to have showcased the highest degree {of professional} drag racing for 35 fantastic years,” monitor operator Seth Angel stated. “It has been a dream come true to fulfill and work with all of the unimaginable drivers, staff homeowners and NHRA executives who come collectively every year to entertain the thousands and thousands of racing followers in our space.”

The Houston Raceway hosted its first nationwide occasion in 1988. Since then, the raceway has been the location of many particular moments, together with victories for a pair of future multi-time world champions, in response to its website.

Whereas it is unclear why it is going to be closing, the raceway stated that following the top of the 2022 NHRA, the brand new property homeowners will repurpose the drag racing advanced into an industrial enterprise park.

“We love this monitor. We’ve got been coming right here for months, years now,” stated driver Chris Perez.

“It has been a part of my life my total life,” Brian Mason added.

Quick automobiles drove outdated and new racers out to the monitor the place they might rev their engines for a authorized and secure race. On Tuesday, they realized they’re rolling towards the top of the highway.

Mason stated most of what he’ll miss occurs off the monitor.

“I bear in mind hanging out underneath the massive oak tree after I was a child. I bear in mind the scent of the concession stand, the laughter, the joking, and the noises within the background. These begin to actually come to the highest, too,” Mason stated. “These reminiscences will actually begin to properly up much more in order the date will get nearer to shutting it down.”

In 2022, this type of automotive tradition must discover a completely different place to park, and Perez stated that is disappointing.

“It sucks. That is it. That is actually it,” Perez stated. “It sucks, however I suppose we’ll discover someplace else to go.”

There may be concern that with the closure, extra avenue racing may take over Houston highways. Native regulation enforcement not too long ago acquired collectively on the raceway to discourage that sort of harmful driving, however quickly, they will not be capable of steer racers on this route.

“It considerations me rather a lot for the fellows that won’t cease and take into consideration what they’re doing earlier than they get on the market and endanger themselves and others, particularly,” Perez stated.

The priority is catching pace at a racetrack that is quick on time.

For extra particulars on its closure, go to the Houston Raceway Park’s web site.

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