In responding to a published account that he had died, famed writer and humorist Mark Twain replied, “reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated”.
The modern day racing equivalent of Twain’s comeback, albeit a far less humorous one, is the swirl of events that developed last week concerning Wall Stadium. A builder pushing an agenda planted a story through a media communications firm that foretold the demise of the track. Within hours, Wall Township’s Mayor and Administrator spoke out in favor of the speedway, saying, flatly, that no development could or would take place without Township approval, which will not be forthcoming. By the end of the day, race track manager Diane Krause had a lease for the next racing season, and the potentially ugly publicity had the reverse effect: a packed crowd turned out for the Saturday night races.
It is rare for elected officials to actively come out in favor of a race track but that’s what has happened. Wall Stadium has been produced heroes and newsmakers for seven decades, but the track itself and the municipality in which it resides, were this week’s Newsmakers.