By EARL KRAUSE Wall Township, NJ — Before a wheel can turn at Wall Stadium Speedway this year, a non-racing problem has the start of the 73rd season at the high-banked third-mile paved oval on hold.
The delay is due to an unexpected environmental testing requirement given to the owners of the property. Since 2011, the Krause family has leased the facility and successfully promoted racing there.
“I’m a frustrated promoter that’s ready to open Wall Stadium for racing but can’t right now,” said track general manager Emily Krause.
She was told by the Stadium property owners that until all of the testing at the track property is done there could be no activity on the grounds so as to not interfere with the project.
That includes events for the Garden State Quarter-Midget Club which has its ‘Little Wall’ 1/20th mile paved oval on site. It is not yet known how or when the testing will take place at Wall Stadium, or to what degree it will affect its previously planned schedule.
“I am afraid the circumstances may force us to delay our opening a few weeks. That’s why I can’t release a schedule yet, even though I’ve had it ready for more than a month,” said Krause. “I don’t want to say we’re going to open on a specific date, then have to pull it back. We’re staying positive and gathering as much useful information as possible.”
The reason for the environmental testing relates to the sale of land adjacent to Wall Stadium and the building of warehouses. The property surrounding Wall Stadium on two sides (beyond the backstretch and alongside turns one and two) had been sold late last year.
The new owner of the former Fred McDowell Inc. gravel pits has proposed plans to build 10 warehouses with 2.1 million square feet of warehousing space next to the speedway. Very importantly, contrary to recent rumors, the Wall Stadium property has not been sold and is not part of the warehouse project.
Krause confirmed that she has an active agreement with the current Stadium property owners to operate the speedway as usual. However, environmental testing has and will be done on the 262 acre former McDowell property. But it will also take place on the neighboring Wall Stadium land in compliance with ordinances to prepare for the proposed building of the warehouses next door on the McDowell site.
“Our main goal is to open on time (late April) and to provide a full season of fun events here at the Jersey Shore. We are working proactively and moving closer and closer to a schedule release,” said Krause. “We are ready to go! Our staff is ready, and I know our racers and fans are anxiously awaiting news of what’s next. We’ve been informed of numerous new entries coming to race this year.”
Technical rules for 2023 have been updated and posted on the track website wallspeedwayracing.com. Most notably added to the rules is the soon-to-be New Jersey State Police-required fire suppression system.
“Preparations were started and have now been halted. Before we got far enough to experience any tire supply drama, we were slapped with an environmental snafu! It’s a reminder you never know what kind of hand you’ll be dealt,” said Krause.
Saturday night plans already in place for 2023 at Wall Stadium include long-distance, high-paying Modified races, including the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race on July 8. The famed Turkey Derby will again end the season in November. Multiple events for the touring ATQMRA TQ Midgets, demolition derbies, Family Fun Nights, twin races, interactive theme nights and possible Slingshot events as part of the Sunday Series of Go-karts and Micro Stocks are planned along with new racing merchandise. “I hope we are able to resolve this quickly so we can all go racing!” emphasized Emily Krause, who advised that she will continue to monitor the situation and keep Wall’s loyal racers and fans updated.