CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — Chesterfield is now accepting proposals for the redevelopment of the shuttered Southside Speedway in a process that leaves the door open for racing to resume on the historic track.
The speedway has been shuttered for more than two years after the financial stress of the pandemic drove it out of business. The county purchased it shortly thereafter, and a recent county report outlined serious deterioration of the facilities, which would require a $10-15 million renovation to resume races.
Karen Pond Tomlinson, the daughter of former NASCAR driver Lennie Pond, says she was said to see it close.
“The track itself just has so much history,” Tomlinson said. “It is a gem for Chesterfield that could really reach a lot of potential.”
Still, in the request for qualifications posted by the Economic Development Authority this week, the door was left open for a proposal that includes short-track racing.
Among the listed project goals are “complementary uses to enhance the experience for those using the River City Sports Complex” and features “not limited to parks, playgrounds, daycare facilities, sports facilities, and recreation.”
During a county meeting last November, County Manager Dr. Joe Casey said that they were looking for proposals that emphasize entertainment uses, “including some for racetracks, hopefully.”
Tomlinson said she’s hopeful, whichever proposal is chosen for development, that racing and the speedway’s legacy is kept alive.
“Racing just involves so much as far as reaching people, giving them that hobby, that passion to help them get through things and also teach them things,” she said.
Developers interested in taking on the site will have to send a letter of intent by February 27, and submit a full proposal package by May 29.