The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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February 17, 2009

Red flag out at Jennerstown Speedway

JENNERSTOWN — Jennerstown Speedway will not open this season and is listed for sale, owner Dave Wheeler said.

Wheeler said he lacks the time to run the track and serve as president and CEO of Wheeler Bros. in Somerset.

Wheeler said he is unsure whether he will open the track next year if it doesn’t sell. Interest in local racing seems to be waning, he said.

The track opened in the late 1920s, and Wheeler purchased it about six years ago. He leased the track last season, but that person left for another job.

Wheeler, a former race-car driver at Jennerstown Speedway, purchased the track in 2002 from Jennerstown Speedway LLC, a partnership that was made up of Indiana County resident Steve Peles and the Hooters restaurant chain.

Jennerstown Speedway LLC bought the speedway in 2001 from the Lasky family.

Stanley “Piney” Lasky, now deceased, purchased Jennerstown Speedway in 1967. During the next 31 years, the speedway developed a solid reputation for providing some of the finest local and touring series programs in dirt, and then asphalt, racing in the eastern United States.

Lasky came to be known in the local racing community and NASCAR as one of the great pioneers of stock car racing.

In 2007, the speedway dropped its NASCAR-sanctioning agreement and decided to scale back the number of outside touring series events.

It had an on-again, off-again relationship with the Mid-Atlantic Asphalt Racing Alliance before dropping its association with that organization later in 2007.

The plan was to promote local drivers to a greater degree and give them opportunities to race for increased prize money, said Larry Mattingly, then the track general manager.

Wheeler let it be known in 2007 that he would try to sell the speedway.

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