CAPRON, Va. (WAVY) – It’s been years since race fans and all around motorsports enthusiasts could gather in Southampton County for a day of fun at the track, but that all changes with the reopening of the Southampton Motor Speedway this weekend.
Saturday and Sunday all are welcome back to the raceway for all-day drifting events, food, games and kids activities to celebrate the return of the community attraction that has sat dormant since 2004.
New managers Robert Barnes, Chris DeBord and Christopher Plummer formed CRC Entertainment LLC in February in order to reopen the track, fulfilling a lifelong dream.
They signed a 10-year lease with longtime owner David Atkinson with an option to purchase.
It’s a day local economic leaders weren’t sure would ever get here. While several different individuals and groups have tried to reopen the facility before, plans always fell apart, until now.
The new owners feel they will be successful as they want the property to have something that appeals to everyone and plan to eventually host more than just motorsport events.
“We want to get everyone involved and give everyone something fun to do on their weekends,” Plummer, of Baltimore, Maryland said. “Not just motorsports activity, but like festivals, swap meets, possible like drive in movie theater type stuff.”
The 32-year-old 4/10 of a mile, tri-oval track sits just off Route 58 between Franklin and Emporia. While it started as a dirt track, Plummer said it was paved in 1997.
It’s said stock car racing driver and NASCAR team owner Denny Hamlin got his start here. But a drop in fans caused the track to close.
Plummer said his group of friends began talking with Atkinson about the possibility of reopening the property in November and almost immediately found community support.
175,000 square feet of new asphalt was laid, old outdated bleachers were taken down and old electronics dusted off.
Currently only drifting events will be run. Drifting as defined by Plummer as “racing in an over steer condition” using cars still with their factory motors.
“There is just a lot more suspension,” Plummer said.
Tickets are $15 for adults and kids under 12 are free.
There are several ticket tiers available for purchase. Click here to get yours.