Popular NASCAR driver among investors at Memphis Motorsports Park - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Popular NASCAR driver among investors at Memphis Motorsports Park

MILLINGTON, TN (WMC-TV) - The wheels are in motion for a new company to take over Memphis Motorsports Park.

"We're excited to partner with Gulf Coast Entertainment and all that they have to bring to the table," Memphis Motorsports Park V.P. Jason Rittenberry said Monday.

Among the names on the list of investors in the $10 million facility is popular NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

"I think Dale Junior being one of the investors in Gulf Coast Entertainment is obviously, a benefit to us," Rittenberry said.

Gulfcoast Entertainment Investor Bill Futterer couldn't say if Junior will get behind the wheel in Memphis.

"We're in constant conversations with him, but it's really premature now," Futterer said.

"Don't think he'll have a lot to do with the day-to-day operations of the track," Rittenberry added. "He's just one of many investors in the new track in Alabama."

Futterer says Gulf Coast will consider upgrades in Memphis.

"We're hoping we can combine our talents and really make Memphis a better track, with great events that please the fans," he said.

But what about the lineup?

"For 2009 we'll continue with the events that we do currently have on the schedule," Rittenberry said. "Both the NASCAR stops will be back here in Memphis, as well as the NHRA National event, and some new events."

The deal should be finalized on April 30th.  At that time, Rittenberry says, Gulf Coast Entertainment will start paying Dover Motorsports to continue to maintain the racetrack, Dover will consult with Gulf Coast on Earnhardt's raceway in Alabama.

"From all the staff at the local level here, we'll continue to still report to Dover like we have over the last ten years, and really just be a change in the ownership," Rittenberry said.

And, Rittenberry said, no one at park will lose his or her job.

While it's uncertain if Gulf Coast will move NASCAR events out of Memphis in the future, company officials said drag racing will stay.


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