Columbus Motor Speedway
I’ve been going to Columbus Motor Speedway during the summers for a span of nearly 10 years. It’s a small portion of the 69 years the track has been open, but I still feel part of the folk-lore. “That’s where the wall is reinforced from the big accident a few years back,” a silver haired man pointed as we stood a mere 10 feet from the cars whizzing by at 90+ mph. There was a real sense of danger and thrill at the track that doesn’t exist often at events due to liability and strict safety regulations. But here, on the south end of Columbus, I found underground racing chaos and burning rubber.
We were there for the 2009 Trailer Races when a truck with a boat loosely attached swerved into the retaining wall in front of us, sending fiberglass and debris everywhere. Nobody was injured, and after a quick jog away from the madness we came right back to the same spot we watched from. You couldn’t look away.
It’s no surprise that the city wanted to buy track and it’s sprawling land to develop a new park. While the track is said to be profitable and the owners thought it was just time to close the book, I’m assuming the city was motivated to shut the track down with their bid. So this will indeed be the last season at Columbus Motor Speedway or ‘The Final Lap’ as it is advertised on Facebook.
I don’t know much about NASCAR, racing, or even cars, but as we watched one of the last trailer races ever at the track and I saw the smiles in the crowd and the sparks flying, I felt a real loss.