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Jason Weaver

Jason Weaver

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NASCAR has sent a letter to the developer of one of two proposed Aurora-area motorsports complexes, warning that it should not assume that the racing body will ever sponsor an event there.A spokesman for The Schuck Corporation, which received the June 25 letter, said the developer viewed the correspondence as standard boilerplate sent to anyone that publicly expresses interest in building a track.However, Oakwood Homes owner Pat Hamill, who has discussed a competing track proposal in the area, said Tuesday that he has not received any such letter.Colorado Springs developer Bill Schuck announced in late May that he planned to build a $200 million, 1,500-acre motorsports facility as part of a 6,500-acre entertainment complex east of Denver International Airport.

But before he'd even finished his publicity lap, Aurora city officials said they talked with Hamill and the NASCAR-connected International Speedway Corp.

about developing a 2,500-acre, $400 million complex near Interstate 70 and E-470.Those involved with the Schuck Corporation said at the time that their plans were not contingent on NASCAR awarding a Sprint Cup Series race to the track.

And on June 25, NASCAR associate legal counsel Jason Weaver wrote to them and told them essentially that they should hold onto that belief.In a six-paragraph letter copied to Aurora city leaders, state legislators and area media, Weaver wrote that NASCAR was concerned that potential investors may believe the organizing body will sanction a race at the track.

The current schedule of its Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series is fully committed, and no expansion of any of the series is possible outside of New York City or international locations, he wrote."Although NASCAR wishes you well with regard to your commercial endeavors, your decision to develop a motorsports facility must be done without any expectation or reliance that NASCAR will ever sanction an event at your facility if and when it is completed," Weaver wrote.

"It is critical that any interested parties, including media outlets, government officials and current and/or potential investors understand that NASCAR has no affiliation with your track proposal, and that NASCAR has made no commitments of any kind with respect to any events at your proposed facility."Developer Bill Schuck downplayed the significance of the NASCAR letter."We have great respect for NASCAR and realize that they are strictly a sanctioning body and can not get involved with track development.

NASCAR and the other national racing series are not in the position to play in Colorado until a state-of-the-art track is built, and that is exactly what we are going to do," Schuck said."And from conversations with racing industry experts from around the country, we believe there is great interest in racing at all levels in the Rocky Mountain region because it is an untapped market."Gerry Freeman, a spokesman for Schuck's group, said earlier that it is "moving ahead rapidly" with plans for the track and was unconcerned about the letter."It's a boilerplate communications sent by their associate counsel that they usually send out whenever anyone announces a new project of any kind," Freeman said.

"We have never inferred in any way that NASCAR will be a partner.

We hope that when it is built, they will look at it very seriously."But Hamill said he has not received any such letter and has not been told by NASCAR or ISC officials that they are unlikely to be able to put on a race at his proposed track.

"We're still working on it," he said of the project.Aurora Mayor Ed Tauer, meanwhile, said that the letter would not affect any efforts the city may make to seek enterprise-zone funding from the state for one or both tracks.

It still has to wait for either Schuck or Hamill to present their proposals to the city before it decides on a project-by-project basis whether it will ask to use a portion of state sales-tax revenues in the area to help build it, he said.



http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/stories/2009/06/29/daily34.html
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