Is there a checkered flag for the Speedway? Auction begins at 5 p.m. today
by BRIAN GRAVES Banner Staff Writer
Jul 24, 2014 | 1354 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
THE CLEVELAND SPEEDWAY will go up for auction today at 5 p.m. on the Speedway grounds. Banner photo, HOWARD PIERCE
THE CLEVELAND SPEEDWAY will go up for auction today at 5 p.m. on the Speedway grounds. Banner photo, HOWARD PIERCE
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There are probably a thousand bad puns to describe what will happen later this afternoon — “The last lap,” “The flag will fall,” “Leaving it in the dust.”

All of those racing euphemisms could come into play as the Cleveland Speedway goes under the auction’s gavel at 5 p.m.

Potential buyers had the opportunity to look around the site Wednesday, and that same opportunity will be offered today from 1 p.m. until the auction begins.

The sale will bring to an end a two-year saga under which the iconic track fell into bankruptcy and disrepair.

On July 10, an agreement between U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee Jerrold Farinash, Ronnie Willkomm, Gladys Johnson and the estate of Joe Lee Johnson was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chattanooga, allowing for today’s sale to proceed.

What is not known is whether there are buyers who are ready to come forward and, as Farinash said at the time, “race the next weekend, if they want.”

“We would expect to sell as an ongoing operation concern,” Farinash said. “That would be if they submitted the best bid and were willing to do the repairs and fix-ups.”

The trustee has maintained throughout the process there was a desire to keep the track operating as many local race fans have wanted.

“In the end, my responsibility is to make sure the creditors receive the best outcome for what they are owed,” Farinash said.

Terms of the sale include a 20 percent downpayment at the time of sale with the closing to occur within 30 days of the date of sale.

Farinash retains the right to withdraw any items from sale and to modify the terms of the sale as necessary to “effectuate the receipt of the highest sales price.”

Court documents suggest an amount in the neighborhood of $1 million is expected from the sale either in total or, as Farinash stated, “piece by piece.”