As the New Year begins I can’t help but to think what this year’s racing will look like. I am troubled about the Miller Motorsport Park situation. If you haven’t heard let me tell you what has been going on for the past few months. Miller Motorsports was put up for sale as it was being shut down Oct 31, 2015. The following are the highlights:
- Tooele County appointed Commissioner, Shawn Milne, to oversee the sale of MMP. The goal was to sale to an entity that would continue MMP’s racing legacy and continue to simulate Tooele’s economy.
- From May to July 2015 the commissioner received various offers to purchase MMP. During this period he listened to the racing community, employees, and other interested parties about how best to use MMP.
- The two main parties that put in an offer for MMP were Mitime and Center Point.
- Mitime wanted to continue MMP as a viable and sustainable racing facility. They promised to enhance MMP with a hotel, oval track, drag stip, open wheel school, etc. They want MMP to be a FIA worthy track. They offered Tooele $20 Million.
- Center Point on the other hand made no such promises; instead they offered $22.5 Million to Tooele with plans build a residential community.
- Center Point sues Tooele saying the sale was illegal.
- In December the judge ruled that Tooele should have sold the property above appraisal value. The judge also denied Mitime the ability to lease the land under the same conditions Miller Group had.
I know I’m not the only one worried about this year’s racing season. They don’t see that without MMP many people will be out of jobs, hotels will be emptier, restaurants will be emptier. They don’t see that all the shops that rent a garage at MMP will have to close and move locations. MMP also provided a lot of tax money to the county, which the county will no longer have for its schools, roads, police force, etc. I worry that Mitime might lose interest in buying MMP and backs out, letting Center Point win. Please Mitime don't give up on us!
I question do I have to move to another state to race? Do I have to move my car to another state and leave it in storage? Will I be using all my vacation days to travel to race out of state? Will I even be able to finish HPDE to get my racing license? I don’t want to pack up my things and start over. I like the racing community here. There are a lot of nice caring people in UT, I have gotten to know so many people.
Utah NASA, Tooele County, Alan Wilson, and other parties are fighting ferociously to get MMP sold to most likely Mitime to continue our racing legacy here. You can find more information at www.nasautah.com and www.savemmpnow.com.
I wonder what other people are going to do. Will they do the same? Is this the end of motorsports in Utah? It makes me sad to see an amazing facility go to waste. I wish I had the financial backing to buy the place. Only time will tell if my racing journey here ends and begins somewhere else.