If you need any further evidence of how challenging it can be to keep a drag strip afloat financially in this day and age, one need look no further than the number of tracks that have been put up for sale, foreclosed upon, or closed outright in the last handful of months. Well we can now, rather unfortunately, add another popular racing venue to that growling list, with the recent auction of the San Antonio Raceway in Texas, a former IHRA Nitro Jam national event site, that now finds itself with a very uncertain future.
Rumors began to circulate back in early 2014 that the San Antonio Raceway was facing bankruptcy — a move that did come to pass on February 3 with the Chapter 11 filing with the Texas Western Bankruptcy Court. The track continued operations throughout the year under Freddy Cruzs’ guidance and even into the winter months, hosting its last event on January 3 before announcing to its racing contingent that the track would be closed the following week, which coincided with a public auction to find a new buyer for the facility. That auction on the steps of the Guadalupe County Courthouse, according to a number of sources who were in attendance, failed to produce a winning bidder, and as a result, the track was returned in-full to the primary lien holder, who reportedly has the highest majority secured loan on the track and who can now sell the property to anyone they so choose.
According to documentation, the track has two secured loan holders with a total claim of $3.67 million on the property and assets. It also has a $196,849 in unsecured non-priority claims for things including advertising, trophies, rentals, and other costs.
A number of unsubstantiated rumors have come about that change the story, including word of a possible restraining order on the auction, which would have in effect moved the bankruptcy to a Chapter 7 liquidation. Others have reported that the track was emptied of all its liquid assets following the final event. All of this, however, is purely hearsay at this time.
Many have suggest that the IHRA and its parent company, IRG Sports + Entertainment, had expressed interest in the track, and many are hoping that, like they’ve done with other national event-caliber tracks, will scoop it up at a value price and add it to their growing catalog of drag racing facilities.
If San Antonio Raceway doesn’t find a savior though, it might become just another statistic in the state of Texas, which has seen the Redline Raceway in Caddo Mills near Dallas, the Texas Raceway in Crandall, and the Desert Thunder Raceway in Midland all closed down in the last year. By population, San Antonio is the seventh largest city in the United States and, like the greater Los Angeles area has at times, would be without a drag strip in more than 100 miles.
The IHRA’s Nitro Jam San Antonio Nationals, scheduled for March 13-14, remains on the series schedule as of press time, with no announcement from the IHRA thus far regarding the cancellation of the ev