Jun 30 2010

North Shore Sun Article “Motorsports just seem to be more ‘us’ ”

Hats off to Michael White for supporting the development of motorsports facility on Long Island in the June 25, 2010 issue of Riverhead's North Shore Sun. Highlights of Michael's column are as follows:

It was a time when Long Island was the mecca for Northeast motorsports fans, from what I understand. Nassau, Suffolk, Brooklyn and Queens once played host to some 40 racetracks, with families regularly packing Islip Speedway with over 10,000 people every Friday night. Bridgehampton had a famous track on the CanAm circuit. Some argue the modern American sport actually began right here on Long Island, with the storied Motor Parkway. Now there's just one track, Riverhead Raceway, hardly enough to distract the region's young people from doing what some of them do best -- nothing.

I've always had a feeling in my gut that motorsports are in our blood out here. And that it should be again. In a big way. I'm talking Dover National Speedway-type big, 130,000 fans and every hotel and campgrounds across Suffolk County packed once a year. Local eateries changing their names to the Monte Carlo Deli or the Speedway Diner. That big.

Let's go back to square one and start thinking again about a track worthy of hosting at least one big NASCAR event in Yaphank or Calverton. Surround it with hotels and then campgrounds and preserve some woods. I'm not saying it's definitely the right fit for the area. As always, we'll have to wait for the experts to conduct their $400,000 studies before making those judgments.

But one thing I do know for sure is we and our elected leaders should be using some common sense. And that should start by taking a look at who we really are, and where we came from.

Here is a link to the entire column. Michael White is a North Shore Sun editor and can be reached at [email protected] or 631-298-3200, ext. 152.


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