CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Some disappointing news for local racing fans. Southside Speedway will be closed for the upcoming racing season. The decision was announced to drivers through a letter sent out Friday by the owner.
The lights are the only things on at Southside Speedway after the upcoming season was called off. The owner is recovering from a medical condition. By phone her daughter explained what happened.
"My mother had a stroke in mid January," said Jennifer Mullis. "She's recovering nicely but she feels that it's in her best interest not to deal with the daily demands of running a speedway full time."
This is the first time the speedway has closed in nearly sixty years. A notice detailing why for fans is also posted on the speedway website. Mullis explained how difficult making that decision was.
"This is a decision that has been prayerfully considered and we feel that this is the best decision for the situation we have at this time," she said.
News of the speedway closing came as a shock to many people here in this community especially those that work and eat here at Chesterfield Diner.
"Kinda sad because I go at least once or twice during the season," said waitress Brande Stiles. "My younger sister frequents there quite often."
Chesterfield Diner is filled with speedway memorabilia. Pictures of drivers and their cars line the walls. The news came as a shock for Stiles who will find it difficult to go through the summer without hearing the cars whizzing by.
"It will be a lot quieter at my house," she said. "I live over off of Reams and we can hear it!"
The owner hopes to be open again for next season. She's expected to make a full recovery.