Updated on September 13 at 1:52 p.m. ET – New Smyrna Speedway officials have announced on Facebook that the event scheduled for Saturday, September 16th will be unable to take place due to the damage to the facility. The race track said they will reassess the situation on Monday the 18th and make a further announcement regarding any additional schedule changes as soon as possible.
Original Story – For the second straight year, a major hurricane rolled through Florida and damaged the legendary half-mile oval of New Smyrna Speedway. Last year it was the Category 2 Hurricane Matthew. This year it was the Category 4 storm of Hurricane Irma that ravaged the track.
Andrew Hart, the son of New Smyrna Speedway owners Robert and Jane, posted photos to his Facebook page on Monday afternoon showing the damage.
Hart wrote that the “pits took the brunt of the wind,” and also said that numerous billboards had been ripped apart and the scoreboard is now twisted. The tech building in the middle of the infield sustained some significant damage.
Hart also wrote that the grandstands, the main building, and the truck of his grandfather and track builder, Clyde Hart, all survived Irma’s winds without damage.
One year ago, Matthew’s winds damaged the same tech building, and also flipped over all of the turn-one grandstands onto the race track, damaging the catch-fencing along the frontstretch.
New Smyrna Speedway’s next event is currently scheduled for this Saturday, September 16. The Sportsman division is currently set to go for 50 laps. The Pro Late Models, Super Stocks, Mod Minis and Bombers are also on the card. It is currently unclear if New Smyrna Speedway will be ready for Saturday’s event.
Officials at New Smyrna Speedway have been unable to be reached for comment.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Andrew Hart/New Smyrna Speedway