PICKENS COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – For Jackie Manley, the Greenville Pickens Speedway is home. Literally. After being born at a nearby hospital in Greenville, before heading home his parents took a pit stop at the speedway for some racing.
“He [my dad] picked me and my mom up and then came straight here so we could be at the race track,” said Manley.
Manley’s story is one of many that have personal ties to the track.
“It would literally be like losing a member of my family to lose the race track,” said Mark Blackwell, who’s father used to own the speedway.
Mark Blackwell’s family owned the speedway for years and said his dad ran the track until the day he died. But now the speedway’s future is in jeopardy. Blackwell and Manley have rallied race fans across the Upstate to raise money and revive the speedway.
“So many people don’t even know about the race track, now it could be a fixture in the new Greenville,” said Blackwell.
They said this kind of attraction could bring in money for the city, and a fun thing to do for residents. But what they want people to realize is the kind of history that’s behind the race track.
“You’d hear drivers, you know, say ‘we’re going to NASCAR, we’re going to Daytona, Talladega, but we gotta get to Greenville to get there,’” said Manley. “This is where they went to get to Daytona so this is a huge thing for the NASCAR community and Greenville community.”
Now they’re hoping to raise $100,000 by May to bring the Greenville Pickens Speedway back to life.
“Everybody says we hope you can save the track, we hope you can save the track…but people need to get involved,” said Blackwell.
If the goal amount of money is not raised by next month, the money that has been donated will be given to the Shriners hospital.
The Shriners hospital will benefit either way in this case, because if the speedway does get revived, a ‘Shriner night’ will be hosted just like years ago and all money will be given to the hospital.
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