With names like Earnhardt, Logano, even Joe Gibbs Racing, the Adirondack International Speedway in Lewis County has seen more than its fair share of top NASCAR talent. Talent that's had to go elsewhere as the tracks' owners fought both tax disputes and lawsuits over grant money. But now, four years since the last lap, our Brian Dwyer reports the speedway is ready for engines to fire back up.
LEWIS COUNTY, N.Y. -- Five years ago, the Adirondack International Speedway in Lewis County was on top of its game. A unique spot filling hotels and restaurants and bringing some of NASCAR's young stars.
"It has put us on the map," said Keith Zehr, Adirondack Speedway announcer. "We've had nationally televised races here. I tell people Lewis County is on national TV with the race track and some of my friends in other states don't believe it. Then they see it and say, 'Wow, that's a really nice place up there.'"
But like most everything, racing is a business. And when tax disputes erupted and lawsuits over grant money were filed, the track shut down. That was in 2009. But track owner Paul Lyndacker never gave up. And now four years later, the end of the 2013 season, there's been a breakthrough and everything has seemingly been resolved. Lyndacker has already scheduled racing for this Sunday.
"It's been four years and it's been a rough road through those four years," said Lyndacker. "This is just like a blessing."
But four years without much upkeep means a lot of hard work over the next few days. Landscaping, painting, cleaning and maintenance. But to show how important this place is to some, dozens of volunteers came out over the past few days to help get it all taken care of.
"We're very pleased and the thing about it is, I didn't realize how much enthusiasm there is," added Lyndacker. "People willing to help and just want it back running. It's starting to feel real. If we get this kind of day in a week and we get everything painted up, it'll be great."
The racing Sunday will feature at least six classes, maybe more. The hope is somewhere between 50 and 80 different cars and a couple thousand people in the grandstands watching them.
The speedway is hoping Sunday's racing will show people what's in store for the 2014 season. As for tickets, people can get in for $5, with children 16 and under free.
The first engines fire up at 12:15 p.m.