Gordon Park Speedway might reopen in mid-June

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Gordon Park Speedway in Grovetown has been quiet since May 16 when the state fire marshal ordered it closed.

Gordon Park Speedway's last racing program was May 16. The track, shut down by the state fire marshal, could reopen later this month.  JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
Gordon Park Speedway's last racing program was May 16. The track, shut down by the state fire marshal, could reopen later this month.

When violations have been fixed and the racing venue has been successfully reinspected, then it will reopen, the general manager said.

“We’re doing some improvements, doing what the state wants us to do,” said speedway general manager Brian Stewart, who first opened the park on Feb. 25. “We’re hoping to open in the next few weeks is what our game plan is.”

Stewart said he expects the track to have lost $30,000 from missed Saturday dates and repairs if it opens in mid-June.

Noise is what got Columbia County’s code enforcement division first involved.

“The initial complaint came because of noise and obviously we had to address the noise,” said Richard Harmon, director of the development services division. “It ended up they were running beyond their allotted hours. It’s what initiated the whole thing. ... The actual legal closing of the races themselves is 11:30.”

The speedway’s biggest violations were operating without a Certificate of Occupancy and State of Georgia Race Track license.

“I don’t think they thought they were doing anything wrong,” said Scott Johnson, a county administrator. “I think they just started their activities and didn’t realize everything they had to have.”

Stewart said it was a miscommunication.

“They said it was back in ’04 when the track’s last inspection was done,” Stewart said. “Roy Rogers, which he’s retired, he told Eddie Dinkins, who is the land owner, that the state license was county regulated and didn’t have to have them. So we found out different, you know what I mean.”

Since May 16, they’ve been addressing the noted violations among which include repairs to the grandstand and improvements to fences to increase spectator safety.

“We’re working on the bleachers mainly, putting up a little fencing but that ain’t no big deal,” Stewart said. “The license we’ve already got. We’ve already got our permits, already got our business license transferred to my name and all that.”

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exmedic 05/31/12 - 07:43 pm
Columbia County?

So Gordon Park Speedway is in Columbia County?

Bobbie 920
Bobbie 920 05/31/12 - 07:47 pm
Feeling Sorry

I feel sorry for residents in that area, once lived on V.F.W. Rd. in Grovetown. The noise was unbeliveable. Sometimes it actually made going to sleep impossible.

itsanotherday1 06/01/12 - 12:48 pm
Amen to that!! Move in next

Amen to that!! Move in next to a racetrack and then complain about the noise that occurs once a week?? Well duh!!

I will say, however, those complaining about them racing past curfew do have a legitimate beef. That is just poor organization on their part. I took a disabled buddy out there a few weeks ago to see a special group of higher end racers, and they were WAY behind that night. He got tired, so we left, but I'm sure they were well after midnight getting done. I wouldn't appreciate that either if I lived within earshot.

chris_newton 06/02/12 - 10:22 pm
No sympathy

I have no sympathy for someone who moves next to a race track then complains about noise. Now if the law is the races are to be done by 11:30 then yes they have a complaint cause I know the races were later then 11:30 most of the time. So once they get open I reckon we will be starting races earlier. Can't wait to get my car I just finished out there.

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