LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - In six months, the property at 3862 State Highway 103 east in Lufkin will look completely different. The grandstands, banked turns, and giant tire barricades of the Speedarama Raceway will be gone and only a distant memory.
On Wednesday, the sale of the property between Bubba Loggins and the City of Lufkin was finalized. The city will use the land to expand on its business park.
Loggins bought the property and built the track in 2002.
"David Riley [and me] were drinking coffee at Charlie's," Loggins said. "We talked about it, and it was going to give him a place to practice, so we started building a track. We ran it for about six years; I then sold it twice and leased it once."
The track has meant so much to Angelina County residents like Steve Lewis, who first got into racing after learning his son raced here at the age of five with a friend.
"My son started here, and seeing him out there the first time scared me to death," Lewis said. "He called and told me what he was doing. It scared me. He was in a kart that was bigger than he should have been, but now he's 13 and racing on asphalt."
Lewis said his memories of the dirt oval are shared by many.
"There's other kids besides my own son that really enjoyed the fact that they were able to come out here and watch grass roots racing at its best," Lewis said.
At the beginning of July, the Website for the track posted that they were closed due to a noise violation with the City of Lufkin.
"It is actually a state code," said Deputy City Manager Keith Wright. "We have the right to issue a citation or summons if the decibel level of 85 is reached after we first go out. We had several complaints and went out there."
Wright said that before, the city has not been involved, but the city annexed the area on Sept.17, 2013 during a city council meeting.
"We like giving people options on where to go out, the real problem was when we annexed the area, and then we provided city services," Wright said. "Once we do that, it comes under thecityy's jurisdiction as far as our police department," Wright said.
Loggins said even though the management group he leased the property to said that it was the ordinance, he feels it was much more.
"It takes lots of work, lots of people, lots of high insurance," Loggins said. "Ken [Hall] gave a real effort, but I think it was just everything added together and not getting the cars."
Loggins said he knows people loved the place but added that he is a businessman and that he was eventually going to sell the property. Now seemed to be the best time, he said. Loggins said he hopes people will hold onto the memories. Lewis said he is already doing that.
"A grass roots track like this to get started on is phenomenal, and we really hate to see it go," Lewis said.
Loggins said that even though the sale is final the city has given him six months to get the property cleaned out.