Racers react after announcement operations will cease at Miller Motorsports Park

Posted at 9:26 PM, May 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-08 23:35:44-04

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah – The announcement that operations are scheduled to end at Miller Motorsports Park is a blow to fans and the racers who ride the track.

Whether they race for fun or business, access to their passion will be much farther away if the county doesn’t find someone else to take over operations at the venue.

Bruno Carneiro is 15 years old and he loves to race, so he was disappointed when he heard the news via a FOX 13 News tweet.

"It said, ‘Miller Motorsports Park ceases operations’ and it was kind of a shock,” he said. “And, at first, I thought this must be a hoax."

Amateur racer Troy Duffin said it was hard news to hear.

"Kind of a gut bust right there, you know, a little punch,” he said. “I just can't see closing this down. That would just be a tragedy."

Carneiro agreed.

"At first it was just a really bad sensation because this is my track, this is where I’ve grown up," Carneiro said.

The racers said there is a misconception the park is empty most days.

"There is almost always something going on here,” Duffin said. “I come out here on the odd day, and I will see an Indy car trailer and Indy car stars are out here practicing, but they haven't told anybody."

Now the opportunity to race will be much farther away than a 40-minute drive.

"My next closest choice is in Colorado or California,” Duffin said. “It's going to be... two or three road trips a year is the most I’ll be able to pull off."

The racers are trying to stay positive because they can't imagine the tracks they consider some of the best in the country will be destroyed.

"I'd like to think that something good will come out of this and there will be a way found to maybe change management,” Duffin said.

Carneiro agreed.

"I hope that we find a way to still be able to continue to keep running the track and give those kids the opportunity to race and do what they love,” he said.

"The idea of bulldozing this over for something else or just leaving it to sit here in rot is just wrong," Duffin said.

The park holds its season opener on Saturday, May 16. Events already scheduled will continue at the park, but operations will cease in the fall. Tooele County officials said they hope to find another partner to take over operations now that the Miller Group isn’t renewing their lease, click here for details.