Southside Speedway, a storied NASCAR short track with a rich history spanning 61 years, is on the verge of a comeback following its closure in 2020 due to financial setbacks induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The track, once graced by racing legends such as Junior Johnson, Ned Jarrett, Richard Petty, and Denny Hamlin in the early stages of his career, has been a symbol of racing excellence.
After shutting its doors in 2020, the track found a new lifeline when the Chesterfield Economic Development Authority acquired it for $4.5 million in 2021. Initial attempts to redevelop the racing complex faced challenges, but the ‘Save Southside Speedway’ movement, championed by the racing community, proved successful. County authorities stepped in to outline a revival plan, maintaining ownership of the speedway while entrusting Competitive Racing Investments LLC with the responsibility of financing the track’s renovation to bring back the thrill of racing.
According to a Chesterfield County report, the cost of renovating Southside Speedway could reach up to $15 million. Consultant Martyn Thake recommended considering the construction of a new facility, estimating a cost between $10 and $15 million. The report emphasized the deteriorating condition of the track and facilities during the two-year closure, citing safety concerns.
Contrary to initial speculation about merging the track with the River City Sportsplex, a grassroots coalition led by locals disrupted the redevelopment plan.
The anticipation within the racing community for Southside Speedway’s revival is palpable. Kevin Carroll, Matoaca district Supervisor, expressed excitement, saying, “We absolutely look forward to a time where the racetrack is back open [and] we have racing again in Chesterfield County. So, I wish as we move forward on this, all of the success.” The potential resurrection of Southside Speedway heralds a promising chapter for racing enthusiasts and the iconic short track’s legacy.