A white flag will have two meanings at Roseville’s All American Speedway this season.
In racing, the white flag signals the last lap, but a white flag also signals surrender – and 2015 may be the venerable three-eighths-mile paved oval’s last season.
Placer County and the Placer County Fair Association are preparing to issue a request for a proposal to attract a new operator for the fairgrounds on All America City Boulevard, of which the racetrack has a large footprint on the eastern border. Fair Association president David Henry said the request will go out in late March with responses due in June. The selection of a new operator for the fairgrounds is expected by July, Henry said.
“The new operator will take over for the Fair Association, but the 2015 Placer County Fair and the 2015 race schedule are still up and running – it’s business as usual,” said Henry, who has been the association’s board president for three years. “But whether or not the track stops or goes somewhere else in 2016 will be up to the new operator.”
The track is no longer affiliated with NASCAR, something local drivers decided, Henry said, because of the cost and what they told the Fair Association was low return on investment. The 2015 season will be the second without the late models as the prime division and attraction each Saturday. The schedule this year has been reduced from 22 to 15 races, and there will be no racing in July.
“It was just too hot for the drivers, their crews and for the fans,” Henry said. “We’re also not racing the last Saturday of every month, and we did that for the neighbors living near the track and their noise concerns. We started doing that last season, and that should make them feel better.”
Henry said fewer races should improve the budget. The track lost money in 2014 on several races, mostly in July.
Henry said rumors of a move to the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn are just that – rumors.
After the 2015 season, the future of All American Speedway, which has been operated by the Placer County Fair Association since 1955, is uncertain.
“A private party will have a much better chance at success of running the track and quite frankly the fairgrounds, too, than the association’s board,” said Bill McAnally, who owns Bill McAnally NAPA Autocare in Roseville and is the promoter of the Toyota/Napa Autocare 150 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race every October at All American Speedway. “I’d be happy to see that.”
Outlaws are coming – Area dirt tracks will be busy in March and April with World of Outlaws sprint car drivers returning for their annual West Coast spring swing. Tickets for Stockton Dirt Track (March 21-22), Silver Dollar Speedway (March 28), Placerville Speedway (April 8) and Calistoga Speedway (April 11-12) are on sale at the tracks and at www.woosprint.com.
Mark Billingsley covers local motor sports for The Bee. Reach him at email@example.com or @editorwriter001.