Wall Stadium is a 1/3 mile, high banked, asphalt oval in southern New Jersey. It is the last paved track for stock car racing in a state which used to boast many. The track has a rich history with drivers such as Bobby Allison and Jimmy Spencer competing there many years ago. More recently it has seen the likes of Kenny Schrader and both Martin Truex jr and his brother Ryan race there. The biggest name it has produced is Ray Evernham, who competed there as a driver, but is more known for being the crew chief for Jeff Gordon in Sprint Cup. He has been called, perhaps the best crew chief of all time. Sadly, the future of this track is very much in doubt.
The economy has hit this track hard. The racers who race here do so mostly out of their own pockets. The fans who attend the events are hard working people who due to the times don’t have the extra money needed for the price of admission. Ironically enough the poor economy, especially the real estate market, may be the reason the track is still standing.
The property the track is on was up for sale at one time. In fact if someone were to offer the owners the right price it’s a good bet they would sell it right now. Thankfully, for the sake of the track, the real estate market has collapsed. It won’t stay bad forever, so someone needs to make the facility both profitable and stable as soon as possible.
Attendance is the most important factor in the success of any racetrack. In years past the scheduling of extra distance events or visiting racing series were enough to draw large crowds. Now with a combination of the economy and so many activities competing for everyone’s money, those types of events just don’t fill the stands. Wall Stadium, however, has an advantage it needs to exploit.
The track needs it’s most famous graduates to step up now more than ever. There are those who believe either Evernham or the Truex family should actually purchase the property to ensure it’s future. These people have worked very hard to earn their money and no one has the right to tell them how to spend it. They can do the next best thing and give the track some of their time.
The Sprint Cup Series races at two tracks, Pocono and Dover, which are within two hours of the track, four times a year. A scheduled appearance by Ray Evernham on one of these weekends and either Martin or Ryan Truex on another could provide the track with two very profitable weekends. Believe it or not, many times a track’s season is made or broke on as few as two events. A few hours from any of NJ’s Nascar sons would undubtedly pack the stands.
Wall Stadium has more problems than just a few appearances could solve, but it would be a good first step. They could also mention the track whenever possible in interviews or on social networks. Believe it or not, there are many Nascar fans in New Jersey who don’t even know the track exists.
This track has produced some of Nascar’s biggest stars, let’s hope they care enough about it to keep it running. Who knows, that kid in a street stock could be the next Evernham or Truex. Let’s hope the track is around a long time to keep New Jersey’s pipeline to Nascar alive and well.