Weekly Feature

2018-06-07 / Front Page

Following brawl, speedway rethinks recurring event

by AMY ROBB Editor

Cruise Nights at the Lancaster Speedway have turned into “Grudge Racing,” according to a statement from the speedway’s president, Tim Packman, following a fight that broke out on Wednesday, May 30.

The brawl was caught on camera and the images have spread through social media since the incident occurred.

“We have had some sort of trouble every Wednesday we have been open this season, and last week’s altercation that posted online, which brought us negative publicity from local news outlets, was the final straw,” said Packman in the statement.

“The disrespect being shown to our facility is undeserved, and we’re done with it taking place.”

In response to the altercation that has been circulating on Facebook, Packman has decided, effective Wednesday, June 6, to charge $20 per vehicle for each driver who wants to get into the infield area. From 6 to 10 p.m., that vehicle will be able to race as many runs as the driver would like.

Motorcycles will be charged $10 for two runs and will have to pay $5 per run after the initial two.

“For those of you who come out for the pure enjoyment of the night, we appreciate it and look forward to having you join us,” added Packman.

“I personally feel responsible for everyone that comes through all of our gates for every event we have here at Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway and want people to feel safe when they are here.”

It will still be free to park in the speedway’s main lot. Drivers wanting to enter the infield will head down the pit road, have their vehicles inspected and pay the fee at that point.

“With that said and so everyone is aware, if we have one more incident that escalates into what it did last Wednesday, there will be no more Wednesday Grudge Racing at Lancaster National Speedway,” finished Packman in his statement.

In addition to issues with Cruise Nights, the Lancaster Town Board tabled an agenda item at its Monday meeting related to the speedway. The Lancaster institution had applied for a special use permit, but hadn’t submitted a corrected application since the May 21 meeting.

An amended application was required to reflect the full timeframe of operation for the season and fix typos.

“My concern is more that [the amended application] never comes in. They’re already not in compliance, they already don’t have a special use permit and they’re operating without it,” said Councilman Matthew Walter during Monday’s meeting.

“I realize it’s been 50 years and it may not ring a bell, but they’ve had plenty of notice to come in compliance and they haven’t.”

Stipulations within the permit included a required renewal every two years, proof of a valid New York State Business License, an activity schedule provided to the clerk and Police Department, adherence to the provided schedule and advance notification of any changes to the clerk and police, and conformance to hours of operation as outlined in the Lancaster Town code.

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