Spokane County Commissioners Ink Deal to Open Raceway
Craig Smith agrees to one-season plan to run motorsports complex
CONTACT: Craig Smith, 509-988-0106 / firstname.lastname@example.org
From nwmns.com media
SPOKANE -- Feb. 13, 2020 -- Craig Smith's retirement was short, a whopping 3 1/2 months.
The 67-year-old Smith had held the lease for Spokane County Raceway since 2012 and determined early in the 2019 racing season that he intended to not renew the option to run the three-track complex.
That left the owners, Spokane County, with the job to find someone who would take over management of the drag strip, 2.25-mile road course and half-mile oval.
A statement on the track's SCR website said: "At this time Raceway Investments LLC is proud to announce the signing of an agreement with Spokane County that will keep Spokane County Raceway open for the 2020 racing season. This agreement will allow Spokane County Commissioners the time needed to continue working on a long term solution for the raceway facility."
"Smith's contract end was actually October 1, 2019, with the option to extend for 5 years. Okay so October, November, and December -- 3 1/2 month retirement, "Smith said he felt an obligation to offer to help the commissioners under the circumstances, adding that he easily could have walked away from things, but "I feel like it's my civic duty because no one else was in position to take the spot this late in the game according to the past contract," Smith said.
Smith devoted a large share of his time to raceway management over the past 8 years after having sold the flying service business three years ago. He will need to keep up that effort as inking the contract that goes through October 31, 2020 with an option to extend if needed. This signing a contract this late has presented challenges in both scheduling and acquiring much-needed sponsorships.
While Smith is currently helping for the short-term right now, the racetrack's statement looks at the longer-term future -- with the help of the racing community.
"As we move forward throughout the 2020 racing season, the continued support of the raceway facility will be of utmost importance in securing the facility as a raceway and open to the public long term."
The statement went on to say, "Efforts are being made to have the facility fully operational with a full schedule of Drag Racing and Road Course Events." Schedules will be posted on the SCR website only at spokanecountyraceway.com.