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NASCAR proposal stumps people

March 06, 2002|BY DAVE McMILLION

By DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

Local officials trying to gather details about a proposal to build a NASCAR racetrack in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle have come up with no solid information.

Sen. Herb Snyder said last week a group of investors was looking at the Eastern Panhandle as a potential site for a NASCAR racetrack.

Jane Peters, executive director of the Jefferson County Development Authority, said Tuesday there has been a "lot of speculation" among county residents about what Snyder was talking about, but no one has any firm information.

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The whole project seems to be evolving in a vacuum, said Bill Scott, owner of Summit Point Raceway.

"The only person that has any knowledge of it at all is Herb Snyder," said Scott.

Typically, when plans for a new NASCAR track begin to take shape, people in the racing community hear rumors about it, said Scott.

That is not the case this time, he said.

"I've been calling around myself ever since this thing broke and I don't know a thing about it," Scott said Tuesday.

Several attempts to reach Snyder in Charleston, W.Va., Tuesday, where the Legislature is meeting, were unsuccessful.

Last week, the Senate Economic Development Committee passed a resolution asking the West Virginia Development Office to study the feasibility of locating a track in Jefferson County.

The agency has until December to develop a report. Although Del. Dale Manuel, D-Jefferson, is on a new advisory council designed to promote car racing in West Virginia, he said he has learned nothing about Snyder's proposal.

Manuel said officials from Gov. Bob Wise's office said there was talk of locating a NASCAR track in southern West Virginia, but not the Panhandle.

The Motorsports Advisory Council was formed to inventory the number of racing facilities in the state, determine how they can be marketed, and how new facilities can be developed, said Caryn Gresham, spokeswoman for the advisory council.

Del. John Doyle, D-Jefferson, said he talks to Snyder periodically, but he has not talked to Snyder about the NASCAR project.

"We don't know what to make of it," Doyle said.

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