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Nazareth Speedway stuck in time, waiting for future changes

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: May 28 2014 05:06:45 PM CDT
Updated On: May 28 2014 06:41:32 PM CDT

Locked down, overgrown and stuck in a decade of limbo; the current state of the Nazareth Area Speedway is a far cry from its prime.

NAZARETH, Pa. -

Locked down, overgrown and stuck in a decade of limbo; the current state of the Nazareth Area Speedway is a far cry from its prime.

Before closing in 2004, the speedway was the scene for hairpin turns, high excitement and the chance to see driving legends like Mario Andretti.

"It's a sad thing not to see it in operation anymore," Nazareth Chamber of Commerce president Tina Smith said.

Through the years speculation about the site has spanned several developments, including a hockey arena, and residential neighborhood.

"We hear things all the time of their being potential interest," Smith said.

She would like to see a mixed use business development, anything she says except housing.

"That would have an impact on our school district. Would be an hardship on our residents here for the school district tax base." Smith went on to say.

However there are those like Scott Cavallo, 53, of Bath, who hold out hope the speedway can return to its former glory.

"Nazareth is associated with racing. Now we have Sage Karem has brought it back to life. Marco, the Andretti's. We just have to keep that history alive," he said.

Cavallo isn't alone.

A Facebook page called "Save Nazareth Speedway," has almost 2,500 likes.

So how much does it cost to buy an old race track?

Try about $19 million.

The realtor said there are several offers on the table but all are about half the asking price.

No matter the price or who buys it, the township says a racetrack will not be coming back.

The majority of the land is now zoned for general commercial, a finish Cavallo may not want but one that can't erase years of memories at the track.

"It was awesome, just seeing the yellow and red grandstands from the hill was neat to see," he remembers.

A deal could be in place by the end of the year with a development starting in the spring of 2015, according to the realtor.