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Drivers rev their engines for last time at Palm Beach International Raceway

Posted at 9:17 PM, Apr 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-24 14:10:22-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — After nearly 60 years, Saturday night was the last lap at the Palm Beach International Raceway.

Drivers revved their engines for the last time, and fans filled the stands as they recounted decades of memories.

"I've raced here hundreds of times. I come here to film races for YouTube as well, and it's like my second home almost. I love coming here," said Charlie Alexander.

The Palm Beach International Raceway opened in 1964, and the venue hosted many championship road races, but Saturday was the last lap at PBIR as the raceway closes to the public before being sold.

"It's tough. There's a lot of memories here. I've physically seen a lot of tears, a lot of laughs and reminiscing," said Madelyn Marconi, who practically grew up at the racetrack.

Marconi is still wrapping her head around that Saturday was the final event.

"It's sad, but it also makes me really appreciate the people that I've met here over the last 25 years I've been coming here," Marconi said.

The track is likely being sold to a company called Portman Industrial who plans to build four warehouse buildings in its place, which could bring 1,500 new jobs.

Some fear if the track is lost it could lead to drag racing on neighborhood streets.

"We need to keep it here. We need to make sure these kids don't get hurt on the streets drag racing...they're going to do it regardless," said Kwik Rick, who has been coming to PBIR for decades.

The Palm Beach County Zoning Commission voted down Portman's plans earlier this month, and now those plans will go in front of county commissioners.

"We're going to be there in full force to show the support what it means to have this racetrack here in place of a warehouse," Marconi said.

Portman Industrial was set to go in front of the Board of County Commissioners next week, but the company has postponed until September 22.