NASCAR & Auto Racing

Cabarrus groups push for speedway resolution

Cabarrus County tourism, business and economic development groups Monday urged both sides in the dispute over placing a drag strip at Lowe's Motor Speedway to resolve their differences.

Speedway owner Bruton Smith is threatening to move the track out of the county if Concord does not let him build a $60 million drag strip on speedway property. He also has retained Bill Diehl, a well-known Charlotte lawyer, to represent him on the drag strip issue.

Diehl and his associates are looking over Smith's legal options, speedway spokesman Jerry Gappens said.

The business and tourism organizations -- the Cabarrus Tourism Development Authority, Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce and Cabarrus Economic Development Corp. -- want the drag strip and the track to remain in the county, tourism board Chairman Frank Lapsley said. The groups held a joint meeting Monday morning.

The groups' resolution wants the issue revolved in a way "allowing for continued economic expansion and employment opportunities in the motorsports industry in Cabarrus County." The groups also pledged support to "the completion of Mr. Smith's dream to build the World's Racing Destination in Caba rrus County."

Concord City Council voted unanimously this month to halt construction on Smith's drag strip, citing concern about noise in nearby neighborhoods. Smith then said he was willing to spend $350 million to move his speedway out of Concord and build it somewhere else.

The public spat continued even as the city and speedway prepared for this weekend's Bank of America 500 NASCAR race at the track. -- Adam Bell