Pine Valley Battles Gas Prices - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Pine Valley Battles Gas Prices

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By: Coleman Swierc - email / bio

Everyday before a race, Billy Kestner sweeps his track at Pine Valley Raceway.

"I like what I do, obviously, or I would not do it."

But the harsh reality of todays world, may prohibit Kestner from doing what he loves.

With gas prices around the area soaring to record numbers, the numbers in the stands at Pine Valley Raceway, have started to dwindle.

"They (spectators) will only come once a month now, instead of every weekend, just because they dont have the money, it is going into the gas tank," says Kestner.

The bad economic times are taking its toll on Pine Valley, as fewer and fewer spectators and drivers, can afford to come.

Drivers like Tyler's Tommy Vice, and his son Eric, who saw his father give up his racing career, to afford him the same opportunity.

"Basically, I had to sell my car to let my son race, it was just not feasible to race both cars," said Vice.

Vice and his son, said they will continue to race, as long as they can find a track, for next season.

But for Billy Kestner, there are only faint hopes that there will be a "next" season.

"We will start back in march, if we are even here," said Kestner, "and that decision is being talked about now, it is that critical."

"We want to be here, but it is economics."

So while kestner and the rest of Pine Valley raceway await their fate, a fate based on economics at the pump and tickets at the gate. He will go back to sweeping the track, getting ready, for what could be, one last race.

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