Cleveland Speedway's future in serious question - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cleveland Speedway's future in serious question

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Cleveland Speedway has been a staple in Bradley County for half a century but now the future of the historic speedway is in question. It all comes down to money. The speedway filed for bankruptcy two years ago and has been unable to bounce back. Now it's up to the court system. Bids are being placed and not all plans have racing in the future.

"I got told I was born on this track. Is that true? I was told my mother's water broke and they stopped the race to tell dad. Dad said I gotta finish the race to have money to eat this week," said driver Bobby Doss.

Bobby's dad says he made $12 a week in 60's, he won that race earning a hefty $25. Meanwhile mom made it from the Cleveland Speedway to the hospital with little Bobby just in time.

Cleveland speedway is in Bobby's blood.

If the speedway goes by the wayside so does a part of Bobby and hundreds of others with countless memories from a dirt track dating back to 1954.

Driver Samantha Mayo said, "it's not just kicks, it's a family affair. This is what we love. It's our house and it's what we want to keep."

Racers there are family. They don't just race, they raise money for those in need. Whether it be a friend with cancer or tornado victims, but the very thing that bonds them together is in jeopardy of never dropping another green flag.

The speedway filed for bankruptcy in 2011 now it's in the hands of the court and up for grabs to the highest bidder. Racers fear the worst after hearing plans that some bidders want to knock it down and build housing.

Doss said, "go down by the interstate there's plenty of land down there. Come over and buy my place put the apartments there, plenty of room but leave the race track alone."

On any given Saturday from march to November drivers from all over the south east make their way to Cleveland and spend money.

If Bobby had the money he'd buy it himself, he doesn't, so they're lobbying bidders to make the speedway their newest investment, "bid higher and I promise you you'll get your money back. These racers will be behind you and they will come here."

The chapter 11 trustee for Cleveland Speedway says he's asked the court to approve a sale. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday morning at 10am. in the state bankruptcy court downtown. Other bids can still be placed.

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