PEORIA, Ariz. – Canyon Speedway Park owner and promoter Doug Gabbard has clarified the future of his track, and it is much brighter than originally thought.
Gabbard released a statement regarding his facility this week detailing his plans.
“Our racing community is so remarkable when it comes down to it,” Gabbard wrote. “Teams may be as competitive as they can be on the track, but off the track, the amount of kindness and generosity extended to my family was simply overwhelming. I can tell you first-hand that our racing community in Arizona is as strong as it has ever been.
I would like to address personally some of the many questions sent to us directly as well as publicly placed. The temporary closure of Canyon was just that: temporary,” he noted. “Our press release putting the season on hold last week was never meant to be an obituary of CSP. A boiling point was reached for myself, my family and our staff. This was not due to social media, low car counts or financial issues as assumed by many. This was due to a look inwards, at the current state of our facility.”
Gabbard pointed out that facility improvements were something that he saw as being specifically needed.
“After the first few races of the year, I saw clearly that changes needed to be put into place,” he said. “I made the decision to take the time necessary to improve what needed to be improved upon. The time for waiting was over. A few instances of the changes taking place would be anywhere from the surface of our racetrack down to the lighting and sound in the pits, among other things.
“When we first made this announcement, the expected down time was much greater than what we are currently facing. The sheer amount of effort and time needed to take on these tasks were enough to assume the worst when we initially looked into how many races we would miss,” Gabbard explained. “However, as mentioned at the beginning of this letter, the community came out swinging. With the help of so many people, we now expect to be back in action for our Spring Showcase, possibly our biggest event of the year.
“I want to make it clear that our number one goal is to put on an entertaining product for our outstanding fans. Beyond this, we want our drivers to feel we respect them enough to give them not just a facility they can be proud of, but a facility they feel safe at. For those reasons, we thought it was in our best interest to go dark,” Gabbard continued. “We would like to apologize to those who had an event cancelled during this down time. We hope you all will be able to attend or participate in a race at our track soon so you can see the results of our hard work during this time we took off.”
Gabbard also took time to extend thanks yous to those involved in supporting the track.
“I’ve got to extend my personal gratitude to our leaders like Steve Kapaun, Jim Stennard, Steve Moriarty, Chris Kearns and Jonah Trussel. These guys all stepped up to the plate for us,” Gabbard said. “We are very lucky to have each and every one of them representing racing in the valley of the sun. Other community members like Tony Steele, Dan Steffey, Scott Batten, Andy Critser and John Brinkley are all instrumental in our immediate return to action.
“On behalf of our amazing staff at CSP, we look forward to our Spring Showcase season opener, featuring the AMSOIL USAC Southwest and CRA non-wing sprint cars, IMCA modifieds, IMCA Northern Sport Mods, IMCA stock cars and Winged Arizona Micro Sprints on the big track.
“Thank you all for reaching out during this time. We hope to see you soon.”