Michael Waltrip has announced that he and his race team will be investors in a new racetrack coming to Columbus, Ohio. The Sports Pavilion and Automotive Research Complex is currently being developed on the site of the city's Cooper Stadium and will include a half-mile track and seating for 8,500 spectators. A 50,000 square-foot office building will provide research space while an on-site hotel will serve up accommodations and a meeting center. The plan also calls for 1,900 parking spaces and several locations for restaurants. Of course, we're more excited to hear the SPARC facility will feature an outdoor karting track.

We're all for adding another paved oval to the world, but it seems unlikely the venue would attract any attention from NASCAR organizers. While the track itself could support a NASCAR event, Waltrip says the limited seating on hand would make it difficult to accommodate the sport's spectators. Instead, the SPARC track would possibly bring in smaller Nationwide Series races. More importantly, the track will offer NASCAR teams another viable testing facility since race rules prohibit testing on any track associated with a series race. You can check out the project's promotional video below.



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  • 14 Comments
      zackwatt
      • 2 Years Ago
      Please stop building ovals, We need more road tracks!
      RGT881
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's actually very smart of MWR. Have your own racetrack to test at, while enjoying a nice revenue stream paying down the construction costs. Hopefully it'll be good enough of a racetrack simulating corners of NASCAR used tracks.
      juan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ah! Another boring oval. Sorry for the sarcasm but I believe road race type tracks do really bring the best on drivers, crew and racecar.
      Drakkon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow. A racetrack built in only ovals, no road course. 8500 seats so you can't sell that many tickets, a track devoted to the junior series of a declining sport, what could go wrong? We can tell it's NASCAR, though, the wall signage goes all the way around the track. That part will be covered.
      Rick C.
      • 2 Years Ago
      The design is defective. It needs other turns in both directions to be correct.
      Xedicon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Boy they sure do seem concerned about their signage - gotta get that signage in. Upper signage, middle signage, lower signage, open signage. Signage! Also ovals = boring (at least to watch) regardless of racing series. Lastly, a half mile track is awfully small, what do they really expect to run here? And pits? Anyone see a place for the pits? It almost seems like it's just meant to act as a testing facility and that's it.
        Pj Taintz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Xedicon
        one can argue whether or not road corses are better than ovals and what reasons. but you cannot tell me that you would rather watch cars come down the straight away, and be gone for another minute...to watch them go down another straight away... I wont even get into the passing aspect... At least with ovals, at least 1/2 mile ovals, you can see all the action all the time rather than see a nice car drive by every minute or 2 and be in the line of your sight for 5-9 seconds.
      Jim McDermott
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is being built near downtown at what was the previous baseball(Cooper) stadium. The neighborhood isn't all that enthused about what it's going to become. It's for their lower series, not the big boys. I say Waltrip can stick it.
      Tahoe
      • 2 Years Ago
      "We're all for adding another paved oval to the world..." Don't speak for me with that comment!
      DMac
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sounds like a perfect track for grassroots motorsports (e.g. supermodified)
      Steve Kostelnik
      • 2 Years Ago
      With a Nationwide event @ MidOhio I don't there will be an event scheduled @ this small track. Seating at this place would accomodate the small crowds that Nationwide attracts.
      Ph4r
      • 2 Years Ago
      4.5 Spectators per Parking Space??
      Pj Taintz
      • 2 Years Ago
      The rules are changing for testing next year. they will once again be able to do limited testing on tracks they run races.
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