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CONCORD, N.C. (AP) -- The owner of Lowe's Motor Speedway threatened to shut down the track and open another one somewhere else after the city council derailed his plans to build a drag-racing strip at the site.

City officials angered Bruton Smith when they voted this week to change zoning to ban drag strips, addressing concerns of nearby residents worried the noise would disturb their neighborhoods and decrease property values.

Smith said his team looked at two sites Wednesday and was contacted by two more sites. He would not say where they were.

Smith said he's prepared to spend the estimated $350 million it would take to shut down Lowe's Motor Speedway and build another track and drag strip elsewhere in the Charlotte area, especially because he was already considering spending a huge sum to update the existing track.

"In light of what's happened ... now I could take that $200 million and maybe another $100 (million) or $150 million and I could build a new facility," Smith said.

But building a new track from scratch wouldn't be easy. While he promises fans a "bigger and better" venue, there are few sites in the Charlotte area that could replicate the 2,000-acre facility Smith now has at Lowe's. Those that can are not close to any major highways.

Smith is chief executive of Speedway Motorsports Inc., which owns Lowe's Motor Speedway and five other NASCAR tracks, as well as Sonic Automotive Inc., which has 195 automotive retail franchises and 40 collision repair centers nationwide.

Shutting down the speedway would cost both Concord and Cabarrus County millions in tax revenue. Last year, officials said, Lowe's Motor Speedway brought in $169 million in tourism spending to Cabarrus County. It's worth around $1.02 million and $722,000 in property taxes to Cabarrus County and Concord, respectively.

"If Mr. Smith wants to spend $300 million in retribution, there's nothing we can do about that," said Mayor Pro Tem Jim Ramseur.

The dispute with Concord isn't the first Smith has had with government official. He sparred with Mecklenburg County in 2004 over hundreds of trees that were cleared for a parking lot at the track.
 

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Mearsfan25 said:
Man history in ground it sounds right there. Glad they don't close it before next Saturday!
What the hell does that mean?
 

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kspool said:
Mearsfan25 said:
Man history in ground it sounds right there. Glad they don't close it before next Saturday!
What the hell does that mean?
Well if I read correctly, they're shutting down the track? Would they tear down Lowe's Motor Speedway? Doesn't say, but I don't see a reason in having the track right there taking up that much space if a major Stock Car series doesn't run there. No more history can be made there if they don't run it, and it's been in the sport for so long. I'm not for this or against it, it just seem like older Nascar fans might have a negative opinion on it. Wasn't trying to Piss anyone off.
 

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You know back when the track was built it was well out in the country. It was originally built well out of the range of the general population of Charlotte. A LOT of the area around the track has grown up since it was originally built. I read about the profits that it generates for the county and state. Can't help but wonder how bad it would hurt that whole areas economy if they did decide to move it. I would bet it wouldn't move that far from it's original site since most of the teams have their shops located near by. But it still would have a great impact to the area if all of a sudden he decided to close it down and rebuild it somewhere else. The traffic logistics, the museums, restraunts, and a lot of other business and details would become a real nightmare for that whole area. It just proves the point that some of the politicians don't look at the big picture of the playing field in which they govern, more often than not they are only looking at the small picture of a few high end income people and their intrest because of campain and and contributions to them personally. In the real picture that whole area would be severly damaged economicly if that track was moved. I think that is the primary reason that he is threatening to shut it down because he knows that they will have to say yes or suffer the consequences for the future of that whole general area.
 

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look at it this way though....Lowes closes and moves into Charolette city limits....Concord turns around builds a huge casino/resort/arena (whatever) on that site...and maybe toss in a retail shopping area...They won't be hurting too bad. Everyone gets what they want....minus a rich track owner because they laughed at his threat.
 
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