HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – The Hattiesburg Speedway is in danger of closing due to low attendance since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 800-person bleachers have been empty on and off since 2020.
The family-friendly speedway has been in Donald Parker’s family for generations. He said he was introduced to racing from his mother.
“She was part of it because her daddy is the one who got all us involved. Her daddy raced, got my daddy involved in racing. Then I got involved in racing, and my brother got involved in racing, and then I got a younger brother that got involved in racing, and our kids followed on behind us,” said Parker, the owner of Hattiesburg Speedway.
The first run on the track was in 1978. Despite it being a small track, some big wins have happened here. Racers were upset by the idea of the raceway closing that they started a GoFundMe to help keep the track open.
“If this track ever shut down, I mean, I would probably just sell my racecar to be honest with you. Because it’s our home track, you know. I pretty much built a car to be able to race local. I don’t have enough time to travel like a lot of the other guys do. This track is 45 minutes, an hour from my house, and quite frankly, it’s the only track I’m able to racer at,” said JT Pratt, a racer.
Parker said while the GoFundMe is nice, their ultimate goal is just to see the stands full again.