Track on road
411 Raceway was sold at auction almost one year ago, and the track is slowly coming back to life under the management of owner Doug Sopha and a team of dedicated individuals.
The Seymour track has undergone a turbulent past and faces an uncertain future as several factors have contributed to the change in ownership three different times in the past five years.
411 Motor Speedway was sold to Galaxy Entertainment from track owner Roger Flenniken in 2000, who purchased it from Sopha five years earlier. Sopha has now purchased the track back after it was forced into auction when Galaxy Entertainment went out of business.
“Doug is trying some unorthodox methods for bringing this track back to life,” said Buck Buckholz, track announcer. “He’s been through this before, and I’m sure that he will bring this back.”
Sopha knows that it will take some time to bring a facility that had been shut down for over a year back from the dead. He has recently purchased several racecars and is building them with the help of others to compete on Saturday nights. The cars are Late Model Wedge cars; they resemble the dirt late models that compete at other tracks in the area. Sopha removes the tops, so the fans can see the drivers, and sells the cars to drivers that are looking for the fun of racing.
He has also started a grass roots division that allows people with limited time and money to come race. They are called the Luxury Sedans and require only that you have a 120” wheelbase four-door car, roll the windows down and come race on the track. The cars are big, so chances of being injured are minimal, and you must wear a seat belt and helmet on the track. It’s a division that brings the fun back into racing. Terry Welbourne of Seymour has his car painted like an FBI car, complete with flashing lights and siren. He helps promote the division by parking his car outside the grandstands so the fans can see it and feel what the division is all about.
Although the facility hasn’t changed much, and the races are run the same, with the family atmosphere and new divisions coming to the track, it should be able to continue.
“I appreciate what the people that work here are doing,” said Sopha. “They are the ones that are helping to bring this track back and I appreciate that more than anything. I know it’s going to take at least a season to bring back the old glory, but we’ll keep trying.”
Sopha also changed the name of the track back to it’s original from five years ago: 411 Motor Speedway is now on its way to recovery.