The Columbus Speedway on Hutcherson Road suffered extensive damage, but track manager Joe Ables said he expects for it to be cleaned up in time for a May 17 race. Photo by: Nathan Gregory/Dispatch Staff
April 30, 2014 10:51:47 AM
The races will go on at Columbus Speedway. Just not this weekend.
Wind damage from Monday's severe weather outbreak turned a majority of the three-eighths-of-a-mile race track on Hutcherson Road into a field of debris. Bleachers and raised viewing areas for spectators suffered extensive damage. But track manager Joe Ables said he has the equipment to clean up the "Baddest Bullring of the South" in two days' time.
Ables said family and friends come first, though, and he will be helping them get back to normal before moving the cleanup operation to the track.
The races that were planned for this weekend have been canceled, but Ables said he's confident that the track will be ready for a weekly racing series event scheduled for May 17.
"We've got two power lines down, and other than that we're ready to go racing," Ables said. "We've just got several hours of cleanup."
Track promoters refurbished the facility, which plays host to numerous races each year from March to September, in 2012.
Ables said his concern when the track is cleaned up is safety.
"We'll be making sure all the debris is up to try to protect the drivers' tires and make sure there's no glass or nails laying around for kids to get on," he said. "I'll check all the rest of the towers out for safety before we let anybody in."
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
1. Mississippi menagerie: Steens resident converts old home into public attraction COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
3. Juneteenth festival marches on COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. Lowndes home destroyed in blaze COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY