Latest News

Home » Oval Track News Blog » World Racing Group Takes Control of Volusia Speedway Park

World Racing Group Takes Control of Volusia Speedway Park

Volusia Speedway Park

Volusia Speedway Park

World Racing Group Takes Control of Volusia Speedway Park

Volusia Speedway Park

By Godwin Kelly /

Volusia Speedway Park will be managed on a weekly basis by owner World Racing Group after local promoter Tom Whipple decided not to renew his lease for 2020.

Whipple, who has run the track since June 2018, said the demands of the job were just too great. WRG has named James Sawyer as the track manager. Sawyer lives in Bunnell.

In a Facebook post, Whipple explained the move: “This is a good thing for the Speedway to be run by the company that owns the property, it has been an incredible challenge to keep the track operating during the 10 months that it was operated by a Leaseholder, duplicate efforts with equipment and staff and the transition every year have been unproductive and stressful for both parties.

“I will continue to be a part of Volusia Speedway as a Racer, a Sponsor and as a resource for James and his staff.”

Whipple was not available for direct comment.

Contacted at its home office in North Carolina, WGR confirmed it plans to run the track year-round.

“Our plan for 2020 will allow us to invest in the facility year-round rather than only the months leading up to DIRTcar Nationals,” World Racing Group CEO Brian Carter said.

“We’re looking ahead not only to the DIRTcar Nationals in February, but an exciting year of racing at Volusia with great leadership from within our company managed by a resident of Bunnell who has called Volusia Speedway Park his home track for a long time.”

VSP was shuttered in October 2016 after Wendi Underwood left the facility as local promoter. In December of that year, John Allen opened the half-mile dirt oval for a few races then nabbed the lease in 2017.

Whipple joined Allen on the lease in 2018 and became the point man for promoting local races. In year’s past WRG has used the track only during Speedweeks then handed it back over to the local promoter.

“Over the last few years I have gained a whole new respect for the Promoters that work their tails off and the money they invest to keep a race track open, and I have always had great respect for the racers that put in the efforts to keep their race programs going,” Whipple said on his Facebook page.

“I have met some new friends that I plan to be lifetime friends with as we continue our journey in this sport we are all so passionate about.”

Volusia Speedway Park has been in existence for more than 50 years.

The facility was sold by Dick Murphy to DIRT Motorsports 2005 for a reported $2.5 million.

DIRT was later bought by the World Racing Group, which runs the top traveling dirt-racing series World of Outlaws.

The track opened as a quarter-mile dirt oval in 1968. It expanded to .4-mile oval in 1969 then went to full half-mile in 1972.

In 1989 the track was paved, became NASCAR affiliated and played host to Xfinity Series races from 1989-92.

During the 1994 racing season David Rogers won NASCAR’s national short-track championship racing at Volusia.

VSP was converted back into a dirt oval in 1997.

The track was shuttered in the second half of 2011 and all of 2012 because the World Racing Group could not find a suitable promoter until Underwood came along.