GEORGETOWN — Georgetown Speedway, a racing venue with a storied past, is opening a new chapter, which will bring localized ownership and planned improvements to the half-mile dirt track complex.
An investment group that includes Brett Deyo of BD Motorsports Media completed the purchase of the facility shortly before the new year, Georgetown Speedway announced Tuesday on its website.
Since 2016, BD Motorsports Media has operated the speedway via a lease agreement with the previous property owners, SeaCoast Investments.
The sale solidifies the future of the property south of Georgetown for auto racing.
“This is an exciting announcement for motorsports in the state of Delaware,” Mr. Deyo said in the announcement. “Our group of investors has the best interests of the speedway in mind and (for) continuing the legacy of Georgetown Speedway long-term.”
The purchase initiates a long list of opportunities.
“We have done our best since 2016 to keep the gates of Georgetown Speedway open,” Mr. Deyo said. “Improvements have been confined to the limitations of our lease agreement. The purchase will allow us to seriously evaluate the needs of the facility and make upgrades for the future.”
The track was constructed in 1949 by businessman and motorsports icon, the late Melvin L. Joseph. It opened in 1950.
Ken Adams, the grandson of Mr. Joseph, confirmed that he is a partner in the investment group but deferred comment to Mr. Deyo.
Efforts to reach Mr. Deyo for further details were unsuccessful.
In an era of speedways closing and large properties being transitioned to commercial and residential sites, Georgetown Speedway is an anomaly.
“The racing community in Delaware is very fortunate,” Mr. Deyo said. “Thanks to the investors, racing at Georgetown Speedway is here to stay.”
BD Motorsports Media will continue to operate the speedway for stock car racing and other events.
It is presently gearing up for a marquee 2022 opener — the Melvin L. Joseph Memorial Weekend, March 10-12, which will offer the largest purse in Delaware dirt track history.
This event features the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series, fueled by Sunoco. The race will award $25,000 to the winner on down to $1,000 for 16th place, plus $500 to start. The Halmar International Elite Series will feature a total purse of $80,000.
The first on-track activity of the year is set for March 5 (rain date of March 6) with an open practice.
The speedway’s history earned recognition in 2018 from the Delaware Public Archives, which dedicated a marker near its entrance, spelling out the track’s longevity and significant role in auto racing.
The sign reads: “Built in 1949 by businessman and auto racing pioneer Melvin L. Joseph, many racing legends got their start at Georgetown’s half mile dirt oval. The Delaware Stock Car Racing Association sanctioned the first race at the speedway on March 18, 1950. The speedway was NASCAR sanctioned from 1953-1957 and from 1959-1963. Over the years, the Georgetown Speedway has become well-known across the country for its role in the development of stock car racing.”