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'Condemned' Mottville Speedway Hits Market for $255k


Mottville, MI - After a few short years of turmoil and unrest, the 'Historic' Mottville Speedway has officially been placed on the real estate market. The property on Michigan's extreme Southwest corner in St. Joseph County has been listed by Elite Homes Three Rivers Remax agent, Sherrie Nowicki. The property, which has overcome many struggles over the years, appears to be in troubled waters.


The track first opened its gates on July 4th, 1950 as a quarter-mile dirt track. Indications are the track was paved in 1967 while owned by Joe and Rick Hamsher; the track was known then as Southern Michigan Speedway. In 1982, the Speedway changed hands and was sold to Ralph and Nancy McGlothen.


Since around 1991, the Speedway was owned and promoted by Indiana native, Merle Holden. His tenure at the helm was ended in October of 2022 when he passed away, leaving the facility to his wife, Judith. The Holden's easily had the longest and most impactful ownership of the Speedway, including multiple records and a unique way of promotion.


HPH Founder, Zach Hiser after his first career win. Mini Thunder Cars, Mottville Speedway, 2005

In July of 2004, Holden was recognized by Circle Track Magazine (Motortrend) for his accomplishment of holding the record for Most Events in a Single Season and Second Most Events in a Single Season. The outlet reported, and it's been well documented, that the Speedway hosted 85 events in 2002, before beating its own record with 88 events in 2003. Those records were accomplished by running Saturday and Sunday shows from March through November. In an interview by Motortrend, Holden admits there were shows where the track had to be cleared of snow before the races could begin.


After Holden died in 2022, the track entered perhaps the most complicated portion of its life. While owned by Judith Holden, a purchase agreement was reached with another Napanee, IN native. That individual attempted a sublease of sorts to another promoter, however, they were faced with hurdles they simply didn't have the means to overcome. After only a handful of races without Holden's guidance, the facility went dormant once again.


Sometime in 2023, Mottville Township examined the property, which has resulted in a poor bill of health for potential buyers. According to the real estate listing the Speedway "has been placarded by the Mottville Twp. zoning officer as unsafe for human occupancy. All/Most of the buildings have violations and have required repairs. The wells have been condemned by the county health dept. The electricity has been shut off by Indiana Michigan Power. The property, if it were to be used as a race track in the future, would require township approval. Septic condition is unknown. If any environmental issues are unknown".


The track sits in a commercially zoned area on plus or minus 24 acres of land. For the full description and property details, click here.


Story - Zach Hiser

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