Carnahan Announces Speedway Miramichi For Sale, Commitment to 2015 Season
In 2012, Jason Carnahan headed up a direction that he says to this day was “living out a dream.”
The Moncton, New Brunswick stock car driver and businessman, along with David Neilson, purchased the former Miramichi City Speedway in the winter of 2012. The track had seen a decline in the years leading up to purchase and stock car racing had become all but non-existent in what once was a hub of action that would attract the Maritime’s best race car drivers to attack the unique layout on the Newcastle side of the Miramichi River.
Since taking over the facility, Carnahan and Neilson have made tens of thousands of dollars in renovations and improvements to the infrastructure around the iconic 1/3-mile oval. Renamed to Speedway Miramichi upon reopening, the track has seen a complete rotation from what it was in years previous to the purchase. It has quickly become the premiere motorsports destination on the North Shore of New Brunswick for not only stock car racing but also demolition type events, attracting teams from all three Maritime Provinces and the state of Maine to compete for fans in the region.
Carnahan is committed to continuing the momentum the track has built, which included a return of the Pro Stock division last September for the first time in 15 years to Miramichi, but with a thriving Carnahan Property Management (CPM) business in the Moncton area, his attention has shifted in recent months. With that, Carnahan has made the very difficult decision to put the speedway on the market, while confirming to race fans and teams that the 2015 season will roll on when the snow melts.
Neilson is still beyond belief of what was accomplished from Day One and supports Carnahan in his decision. “I supported Jason’s idea, and it was a great experience together,” said Neilson of the partnership. “His efforts in all things we did together are rewarding, but I can see he has reached a point what no “Average Joe” can follow. CPM has been handed some opportunities that will require serious focus and I can’t even imagine how he can manage what he has on his plate now, let alone what is to come this year. Jason likes to do stuff right and to do all of what he has to do is virtually impossible in my eyes.”
“When I look at 2014, it was a challenging year for myself,” said Carnahan when looking back on last year. “Trying to balance work and family life, along with my passion to this sport was beyond difficult. With upcoming new contractual business agreements, the work load between the race track and what we do at CPM is beyond what I can handle. When that load of juggling occupations becomes too much, decisions have to be made and priorities have to be chosen. I feel that it is better to pass it along to a new owner before I start short changing the efforts that are required to keep it alive.”
“I haven’t lost sight of what we have accomplished in the Miramichi area and what we are setting out to do in 2015,” continues Carnahan of his work at Speedway Miramichi. “We set out in 2012 with goals some said “couldn’t be done.” I’m glad to be here three years later to say that we have accomplished everything we set out to do. We have brought motorsports back to a region that had a void and, in turn, have made a heartfelt contribution to the Miramichi community, which is something I will always be proud of.”
“Whoever purchases the facility will get a “turn-key” speedway, along with great supporting staff and fans. The infrastructure is in place to open the gates and, with the right time and effort, turn a profit. We are glad to say we posted no financial losses since we opened the track in 2012 and we proved it to be a viable business with very little corporate support and sponsorship. When you couple the fact that we are coming off a big year with the return of the Pro Stock division to the race track for the first time in 15 years along with a successful season of demolition events, it is not hard to see there is a market in the Northern corner of this province for motorsports, and we want to see the positive momentum continue for many years to come. This decision is not what I want to do, however, I would much rather prove to everyone what we set out to do was exactly what we said, to keep the track, and racing in the region, alive. The buyer will see that this was not a real estate flip for us, as we have set the sell price much less than what we have invested in both time and money. The right person is ready to be rewarded with a great local business that just needs local time and effort.”
2015 In Miramichi
“We have committed to the 2015 season,” continues Carnahan. “Anyone who purchases the Speedway between now and the end of the season will be bound by an obligation to run the schedule as posted for the season. We will not let our fans and teams who have been able to trust us over the last three seasons down, we are full steam ahead and we are excited with what we have in store for 2015.”
The biggest change to the schedule comes with the ‘Chi City Showdown. Riding the wave of a successful 2014 event that featured some of the best racing seen in the province all season, the ‘Chi City Showdown will go back to a one day show on Saturday, September 19th, a week earlier than previous seasons. Four divisions will highlight the card, including a Pro Stock 200, Sportsman 100, Street Stocks 50 and Four Cylinder 25, along with a Bandolero and Atlantic Modified feature. An open practice will take place on Friday, September 18th.
The regular schedule for the track includes five events, four of which will see the popular Demolition events return on Saturday, May 30th, Saturday, June 20th, Saturday, August 29th and the fourth annual Halloween Spooktacular on Saturday, October 17th.
Also returning are the Four Cylinder and Street Stock classes, whom will run a feature on every card through the season at Speedway Miramichi. The Street Stocks will run a 75-lap feature on Saturday, August 15th.
The Demolition, Street Stock and Mini Stock classes will all run for points in 2015, with a track champion being crowned on October 17th.
The May 30th, June 20th, August 15th and August 29th dates will also include appearances from the Atlantic Modified Tour and the Eastern Super Mini Cup Series. The announcement marks the first five events announced in 2015 for the Atlantic Modified Tour (along with the Chi City Showdown on September 19th) and adds four events to the Miramichi based Eastern Super Mini Cup Series, who previously announced an August 2nd event at Petty Raceway and two races at Oyster Bed Speedway.
2015 Speedway Miramichi Schedule
Sunday, May 31st – 2pm – Demolition/Four Cylinder/Street Stock/Atlantic Modifieds/Eastern Mini Cup
Saturday, June 20th – 7pm – Demolition/Four Cylinder/Street Stock/Atlantic Modified/Eastern Mini Cup
Saturday, August 15th – 7pm – Street Stock 75/Four Cylinder/Atlantic Modified/Eastern Mini Cup
Saturday, August 29th – 7pm – Demolition/Four Cylinder/Street Stock/Atlantic Modifieds/Eastern Mini Cup
Friday, September 18th – 4pm to 10pm – Open Practice for Chi City Showdown
Saturday, September 19th – 6pm – Chi City Showdown – Pro Stock 200/Sportsman 100/Street Stock 50/Mini Stock 25/Atlantic Modifieds/Bandolero
**Features to start at 6pm, qualifying to take place prior to 6pm.
Saturday, October 3rd – Raindate – Chi City Showdown
Saturday, October 17th – 6pm – Fourth Annual Halloween Spooktacular – Demolition/Four Cylinder/Street Stock
Schedule subject to change without notice.
Photos by McCarthy Photographic (Carnahan photo) and John O’Shea/Miramichi Racing Radio (Hicken Burnout)