Opinions split over location of Oahu’s next racetrack

Opinions split over location of Oahu’s next racetrack
It has been five years since Oahu had a legal raceway (Source: Hawaii News Now/file)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In search of common ground, auto racing fans came together Thursday in Kapolei with dreams of a future track.

It has been five years since Oahu had a legal raceway.

Drivers are clamoring for a new drag strip but are finding the right location isn’t as easy as they had hoped.

A neighborhood meeting at Kapolei Hale Thursday night was so packed many people had to stand outside.

Kaneohe resident Kimo Vares says he has been racing for more than 50 years. He is among hundreds who have to go off island to race legally.

“I just sent my race car to Hilo, cost me $4,000,” said Vares. “And mind you, tonight’s news said flash floods in Hilo. So, guess what? I might not even be able to run my car.”

The state and the city are working with the public to find a new location to bring back the glory days.

There are currently two proposals: one right next to the Kalaeloa airfield and the other at the Ewa airstrip in Barbers Point.

The area’s Senator Kurt Fevella voted no for SCR108 and said he doesn’t want to displace community parks being planned by the city.

“I don’t think the race track should be in the area that it is, that’s my personal view," said Fevella. “It should be designated for parks.”

Oahu’s last track, Kalaeloa Raceway Park, shut down in 2014.

It’s owner George Grace is hopeful the community can come together to push a plan to reality.

"It’s like a match, when you first strike it, it’s bright. And then it goes dead. If everybody in this room can keep together, and keep their heart in the right place, we can move forward,” said Grace.

Copyright 2019 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.