Drag Illustrated Issue 180, January / February 2023 | Page 22


OP-ED Make Some Noise

With nine years of experience in local government and over 20 years in the sport of drag racing , South Florida native Madelyn Marconi never thought the two worlds would collide . Now , with racetracks closing all over the country , she feels it is important for racers to get involved , share their voice , and fight for their racetracks in front of local elected officials . She believes local governing bodies can work with the racing community to preserve racetracks and

By Madelyn Marconi
provide a safe place for people to enjoy the sport of drag racing ; we just need to show them .
A grim reality is hitting the world of motorsports across the country : racetracks are closing . For those who grew up going to the racetrack for a weekend of fun with their family and friends , the thought of the next generation having that same opportunity is dissolving at a rapid rate .
To the dismay of many motorsports enthusiasts , premier racing facilities like Atlanta Dragway , Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park , and Palm Beach International Raceway have already met their demise .
The question that everyone keeps asking is , “ Why are these racetracks closing ?” Well , there ’ s really only one answer to the question : capitalism . The land on which these racetracks were built has become so valuable that developers are targeting these areas to redevelop the properties in hopes of making a profit in either the industrial , commercial , or residential markets by turning these historic racetracks into either enormous distribution centers , large-scale home developments , or commercial retail space .
Recently , land use has become a hot topic in the world of motorsports , but for many local communities across the country , it has been an ongoing battle with their local elected officials for decades .
Increased demand from homebound consumers has contributed to the construction of distribution centers in local communities for companies like Target and Amazon to keep up with their customers ’ needs . These behemoth warehouses need a lot of space and are typically constructed on the outskirts of cities due to their noise and constant activity . Unfortunately , racetracks are also typically built on the outskirts of cities . They have become clear targets for commercial developers to swoop in , buy the property , and turn it into a profit .
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