TIMMONSVILLE, S.C. (WMBF) - The goal in racing is to get to the winner’s circle, and while the Florence Motor Speedway is only in the early stages of their own race - they’re looking to take the checkered flag.
“You know I spent going on ten years at Myrtle Beach, so I knew that property very well,” said Steve Zacharias, the track’s new owner.
Zacharias formerly served as the general manager of the Myrtle Beach Speedway. Following the track’s closing last year, he and his team took over the Florence Motor Speedway from racing legend Charlie Powell.
Zacharias expected Powell to be around to help him learn the ins and outs of his new race track. Shortly after Zacharias took over in the fall, Powell passed away.
“When we came here the starting point was where is everything, how does it operate, how do you turn the lights on, and how do you do this,” he said. “Obviously with the passing of Charlie the intention was that he’d be here to guide us with this stuff.”
Now on their own, they began searching for ways to improve.
“We started with the grandstands, for those who’d been here the grandstands were all two-by-tens and were rotted and falling in, and it looked pretty rough,” said Zacharias.
They replaced the old stands with aluminum bleachers before painting and rebranding the signage.
Zacharias is also bringing some credibility back to the speedway, recently announcing they’ve secured a NASCAR sanction for the track.
“Now we’re paired up with NASCAR and Darlington so we’re excited about that partnership,” he said. “It’s a lot of things that are kind of hard sitting here standing still what they’ll be exactly, but as the year progresses you’ll see them pop out and realize NASCAR sanctioning was the right thing to do.”
Moving forward, Zacharias also said he won’t forget Powell, the man who put four decades of his life into building Florence Motor Speedway. The track hosted the first Charlie Powell Memorial Race last November.
“That’s something I plan is going to be a staple in southeast racing you know where the Myrtle Beach 400 disappeared,” he said. “The Charlie Powell Memorial has shown up here in Florence so we’re going to continue pushing and honoring Charlie Powell from here on.”
Florence Motor Speedway’s next race is scheduled for Feb. 5.