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Stateline Speedway Put Up For Sale

Stateline Speedway has been put up for sale by its owners. The track, located in the town of Busti, opened in 1956 and was last sold in 2015. P-J file photo

BUSTI — Stateline Speedway in the town of Busti has been put up for sale.

The listing for the one-third mile clay oval race track by ERA Team VP was posted late last week. Michael McVinney, a real estate broker based in Jamestown, said discussions to have the 65-year-old track be put on the market began a couple of months ago and finalized just before closing night Saturday.

“The biggest thing is that they’re currently not planning on closing at this point,” McVinney told The Post-Journal on Tuesday. “They want people to take it over and continue it on and maybe add onto it for more events. That’s really the biggest thing.”

The current owners are part of JJB Holdings Inc. They finalized the purchase of the Kortwright Road track in the late summer of 2015 after previously operating the facility under a lease deal with Seamens Speedway Inc.

McVinney said he has already received some phone calls regarding the property. The sale would include 97 acres of land, the buildings on the property and its equipment.

The current asking price is $899,000.

“There have been calls, and not just locally, but from outside the area,” he said.

The listing includes the following summary: “Stateline Speedway … has begun a quest to find the right people to carry on the long tradition of racing in Chautauqua County, New York. They will not be closing their doors, it is simply the right time to consider the next step of the Stateline Speedway legacy. The current owners are hoping to find the right people that can not only maintain all that has been created, but also add new excitement and put their own stamp on it.”

Upgrades to the track were made following its purchase about six years ago. In addition, McVinney believes a new owner would have the opportunity to expand the events held at the track, including Motocross and BMX races.

The track hosts races through Labor Day.

Stateline Speedway opened on July 21, 1956, through the efforts of Len Briggs, Lloyd Williams, Marv Thorpe, Don Frank and Jerry Frank. Mother Nature had pushed the opening back two weeks, and even though rain had cast a shadow over that day as well, the sun came out in the end and the race was on.

A total of 1,700 spectators showed up to watch 22 racers compete for a guaranteed purse of $1,500 with $300 to go to the winner. Emory Mahan, of Warren, Pa., driving a 1955 Chevy won that first race.

According to Randy Anderson, president of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, the track hosted a NASCAR race on July 16, 1958, with a purse of $4,200. The NASCAR-sanctioned race brought an estimated crowd of 3,500 who paid $3 admission.

However, as Anderson noted in an article posted to the Hall of Fame’s website, many of the top names in the sport failed to show for the race.

According to an account of the race that appeared in The Post-Journal, “Hard luck continued to dog the Stateline operators, who felt they had a complete NASCAR show signed, sealed, and delivered. Several top drivers, however, failed to show. A rain-shortened program at Raleigh, NC, which broke open an argument over pay, is said to have delayed most of the NASCAR stars who remained in the southern city to continue their efforts to collect.”

Fritz Seamens bought Stateline Speedway in 1984.

More information on the sale can be found at: https://michaelmcvinney.com/?s=stateline

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