A new chapter may soon be written at Mobile International Speedway. After 41 years under the ownership of current owner Ida Hatfield and her late husband Lee, the Alabama racing facility has been listed for sale through Black Rose Advisers, a Louisiana-based firm.
A statement posted on the track website indicates that Hatfield, who had lived on the Irvington, Alabama property for many years, plans to enjoy retirement at her Louisiana home.
“The time has come for long-time owner Ida Hatfield to consider a retirement from track ownership,” track manager Tim Bryant told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “We’re hoping a new ownership group can come in and take what is a tremendous opportunity in a great racing town to keep Mobile as one of the great short tracks.”
Bryant stated that all parties involved stand willing to assist any buyer of the property so that the tradition of short track racing in Irvington, Alabama can continue.
“What we would like to see in a perfect world is a participating good neighbor,” said Bryant, also the owner of Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. “We will weigh anything out for the future, but really we’d like to see someone else come in and become part of the Mobile community.”
Since word began to spread about the sale of the track, some have speculated that Bryant may be interested in purchasing the facility. He was quick to deny any possibility of that happening when speaking with Speed51.com on Tuesday.
“As far as taking ownership, that’s not really an option for us. We’re not a big enough conglomerate to own multiple tracks,” said Bryant. “We have our plate full owning one track and it was certainly a challenge even operating a second track.”
“We’re not currently trying to become multiple track owners. Most short track operators would probably agree that owning and operating one race track certainly is a full-time and a half occupation. What we’d like to see is some people come into Mobile that can make the most of a great opportunity.”
Two events remain on the 2015 schedule at Mobile including the prestigious Lee Fields Memorial for the Southern Super Series on August 22. The 150-lap event will have a lot on the line in its return as a Super Late Model event.
The Mobile season is scheduled to come to a close on September 5. Plans are also currently being made by current track management for the 2016 racing season.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: ARCA Racing Series