While news broke earlier this summer that the 2023 Menard’s NHRA Nationals would be Heartland Motorsports Park’s last NHRA National Event, unfortunately it seems that release was just a prelude to a bigger announcement from the venue’s ownership.
Reported via its social media, Heartland Motorsports Park will be closing its doors for good at the conclusion of the 2023 drag race season. Here’s the announcement in its entirety:
“Heartland Motorsports Park will be closing its doors and ceasing operations at the end of October after completing all its 2023 scheduled events. The owner of the property, Shelby Development LLC, can no longer operate under such an enormous and ever-increasing tax burden. As a result, Shelby Development LLC will be placing the property on the market for sale. Despite the taxes assessed on the property already exceeding what Shelby paid for the entire property, Shawnee County again knowingly increased taxes twice this year.
“Heartland would like to thank its staff, sponsors, spectators, racers, vendors, and all who participated in or visited Heartland during one or more of the many events it held annually. Unfortunately, while Heartland and Shelby are saddened and upset by the situation, and have done all they could to avoid closing, it is the communities of Topeka, Shawnee County, and the surrounding areas that will suffer the most, losing national recognized events that not only benefit the communities by drawing in tourism and economic development, but also provide quality activities for locals to enjoy.
“The local community will lose out on these annual events, including the Country Stampede, as they move to different cities and, potentially, different states.”
So if you’ve got a hometown track in your area, make sure to visit often, tell your friends, and encourage the racing community to support it.