What might have been for NASCAR will soon be what is to be for Staten Island.
About eight years ago, NASCAR purchased rights to 671 acres and had designs to build an 82,500-seat, ¾-mile track – similar to Richmond International Raceway – on an abandoned piece of land on the edge of the New York borough.
But a costly environmental cleanup, as well as significant public and political opposition, eventually forced NASCAR to forego the project and sell the land.
Now, instead of race cars driving around, there will likely be lots of trucks driving around, part of a planned 330-acre big box and manufacturing complex that will employ thousands – and we’re not talking about Camping World Trucks.
No, these will be big semis.
Staten Island Marine Development purchased the property for $80 million.
Yes, what could have been for NASCAR is now going to become reality of another sort.
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.