The End Zone Seat: WVMP Closes Doors for Good
Ever since Billy Maynard and Rich Howard, Sr. first envisioned Wyalusing Valley Motorsports Park six-plus years ago, it has been a struggle opening and keeping the go-kart and small-car race track in Homets Ferry in operation.
This week, a dream that tornadoes, rain, operating headaches and government regulations couldn’t kill, finally came to an end thanks to good old fashioned capitalism as practiced by the insurance industry.
Maynard and Howard announced that the track will close effective immediately.
“It is devastating to us to have to take this action and make this decision, but I assure you, we have explored all options and this is what must be done,” Maynard and Howard said in a statement on the track’s website.
The Howard family, upon whose farm the track is located, was told before Thanksgiving that the insurance on their farm was canceled because the facility was on the property.
After consulting an attorney, the Howards were advised that leasing the property to Wyalusing Valley Motorsports Park, LLC should shelter them from any liability claims centered on the track.
The insurance industry had a different interpretation, saying the lease agreement was not sufficient.
A search for any insurance company that would cover the farm and allow the track to remain open proved fruitless.
One company initially said it would accept the farm as a client with the lease agreement, but a subsequent meeting of its board proved to be the ultimate “death panel” for the track.
The company’s board denied the application and also canceled the insurance.
With few options left to resolve the situation, Maynard, who has been the promoter of the facility since its inception, and Howard had to face the inevitable.
The only viable option was to subdivide the portion of the farm that held the track and sell it to Wyalusing Valley Motorsports Park, LLC.
“This alone presents a roadblock,” said the track’s press release, noting that it would cost thousands of dollars to cover the expenses such as surveying, title searches, deed transfers and abstract costs for starters.
Even if they opted to go that route, it was not likely that the track could open in 2012.
Maynard bought a two-acre portion of the farm earlier this year to build his own house on the farm and that took eight months to get the subdivision completed.
Ultimately, all the lawyers consulted agreed that even though the LLC would provide some lawsuit protection, there were still circumstances where a lawsuit could be filed and won against them.
That proved the final straw.
While plans were well underway to hold a 2012 season, Maynard and Howard wasted little time getting the word out to the loyal race teams that have made the facility one of the best summer sports attractions in the area.
“We are releasing this information immediately to allow teams to explore their options for 2012,” the release on their website states.
“We thank each and every racer, owner, crew member, sponsor, fan and track worker for your support during the past six years.”
According to the website, all the track assets will be sold to pay off any existing debt.
Sponsors who have already agreed to track signage and racers who had previously paid their pit reservations will be refunded.
“It’s been a hell of a ride,” the statement concluded.