Firebird International Raceway has been notified that its longtime lease on the Gila River Indian Community property will not be extended or renewed, according to raceway officials.
Charlie Allen, who has been the facility’s president and owner since 1983, expressed remorse over the decision.
“After almost 30 years, it’s incredibly sad to know that we are looking at the end of (the raceway), but it’s been a heck of a great ride,” said Allen.
Dee Myers, a motorsports correspondent and Wrangler News freelancer, says that the buzz at a recent NHRA event focused on the anticipated change of ownership at Firebird and possible other promoters who might try to pick up the lease.
However, the matter still appeared to be unresolved at presstime.
Regarding the future, Allen said that there are no concrete plans to build a new facility elsewhere, and that it is unknown what will happen to the property after Firebird Raceway’s exit in April of 2013.
“There has been some talk about the community utilizing the facility as a motorsports venue moving forward, and we have recently been made aware that they have made contact with several sanctioning bodies and promoters that we currently work with,” said Allen.
“Beyond that, we really can’t comment.”