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Repairs underway at Southwest Florida track damaged by Ian

Punta Gorda racetrack suffered significant damage when Hurricane Ian ravaged the region


A Charlotte County racetrack has begun cleaning up and repairing after sustaining significant damage when Hurricane Ian blasted ashore in Southwest Florida over a week ago.

4-17 Southern Speedway, formerly Charlotte County Speedway, was in the eyewall of the monster hurricane which claimed over 100 lives and unleashed historic devastation.  The track posted an update on their Facebook page on Friday, announcing the cancelation of the October 8 race.

“This Saturday, October 8th repairs will begin at the track,” the statement read.  “The Ollie family, Bigley family, troy McNabb, and terry price are heading up the staging and repairs. If anybody is willing and able to volunteer, please reach out to any of the individuals listed above. We will provide lunch and drinks. To put rumors to rest- we do plan to reopen. Our goal is to reopen next Saturday, October 15th. This date will be evaluated as the repairs are made. The races for tomorrow October 8th are canceled due to hurricane damage.”

The statement also mentioned the overall recovery the region faces.

“We wish each and every driver, crew member, staff, and fan of 4-17sse a happy weekend. Please remember – you ARE NOT ALONE. We are all in this together. We will all get through this tragedy hurricane Ian has dealt to SW Florida. Please be human AND be kind.”

4-17 Southern Speedway suffered a similar fate in 2004 when Hurricane Charley dealt a direct blow to the track.  Ian was frequently compared to Charley by forecasters because of its intensity and track.

The Charlotte County racetrack is set to host the $30,000-to-win Billy Bigley Memorial Super Late Model race on Saturday, October 26.

If you want to know more about how you can help the victims of Hurricane Ian, you can make a donation to the American Red Cross.

Marquis comes from St. Charles, Maryland and has a widespread background in journalism, having covered politics in Washington and Maryland as well as nearly every form of auto racing, including NASCAR, IndyCar, AMA Motocross and IHRA Drag Racing. Now living near Emerald Isle, North Carolina, Marquis covers Late Model Stock Cars and Super Late Models in the Carolinas and Virginia.

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