Could Racing Make a Comeback at Hawaii Raceway Park? - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Could Racing Make a Comeback at Hawaii Raceway Park?

By Beth Hillyer

KAPOLEI (KHNL) - Oahu auto racing enthusiasts support a resolution allowing the City to condemn the former Hawaii Raceway Park and re-open it for racing.

Racers have been without a track for more than a year so they are all geared up about the idea of a city-owned racetrack. "Drivers start your engines," a phrase not heard in a while.

The brakes were put on racing at Hawaii Raceway Park in March of 2006 after the track lost it's lease.

Dragester Club Member George Nita says, "We don't have a place to race anymore."

A resolution before the Honolulu City Council would condemn Hawaii Raceway Park and allow the City to buy it and operate it as a racetrack.

This would keep racers off the streets.

Race car driver Mike Wilcox adds, "There was an incident over the weekend in Tennessee. Classic example racecars do not belong on the street. Unfortunatley they lost six people in Tennessee."

While racers support the condemnation, an attorney for the landowner is against it.

The landowner's attorney Keith Kurahashi explains, "The owners do oppose the resolution trying to go ahead with zoning change so they can develop an industrial park on that site."

State lawmakers allocated one million dollars if the City moves to condemn and purchase the 60 acre parcel.

Race enthusiasts say they can support themselves. Lifelong Racer Evelyn Souza adds, "We are willing to pay for it, this is not a freebie. We are willing to pay back the city for it's investment."

Racers want the city to put the pedal to the medal on the condemnation before the former racetrack is re-zoned as an industrial park.

"Please consider the resolution before you on the condemnation of Hawaii Raceway Park and keep it as a racetrack, " concludes Wilcox.

Racers won't be waving the checkered flag at the park any time soon. That's because council members learned today the value of the land ranges between $13 million to $65 million.

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