In a small town near the eastern border of South Dakota called Brandon, there’s a race track whose name changes about as often as its status on the real-estate market. Most recently, its owner planned to unload it by hosting one big race, where entry fees were high and the winner could take the track as their prize.
The race has since been canceled due to lack of entries.
The three-eighths-mile dirt track—which was called Huset’s Speedway when it opened, became “Badlands Motor Speedway” under new ownership a few years ago, and is now Huset’s Speedway again—was meant to be the prize in a race on its very own surface this month, an idea championed by its owner Chuck Brennan. Brennan has a payday-loan business and has been trying to sell the track to move the business out of state since South Dakota changed its payday-loan laws, via the local Argus Leader. He planned to host the race on Aug. 13.
The race was announced around June with an offering of either the track itself or a “$3.6-million cash bounty option” to the winner, but the price was steep: a $200,000 entry fee, meant to attract investors fielding drivers. The race needed at least 18 entries to run, with only the first- and second-place finishers getting all of their money back, according to the Argus Leader at the time.
It only got three entries, according to the newest update.
That means the track is back for regular sale now, with its website calling its list price of just under $7.5 million a “substantial price reduction” on its more than 74 acres. That’s less than what it was listed for when Brennan originally put the track up for sale, according to the Argus Leader, but it was for sale for around $6.3 million late last year. Both numbers are less than the claimed $15.8-million investment into the facility, though.
If the track doesn’t sell by May 7 of next year, its website, which is basically just a big sale ad these days, said it’ll start auctioning items off in person and online. From the website:
This will not be to auction off the land, track and business. This will be to auction off the hundreds of assets at the track. Literally everything from the bleachers to the buildings, vehicles, concession equipment, billboard system, elevators, furnishings, Musco lighting systems, sound, lights, electronics, down to the dirt from the track if someone wants to buy it. It will ALL go and then the facility will finally be decommissioned.
Brennan’s dreamt up all kinds of new ways to try to sell the track, which opened in 1954 and was remodeled in 2015, for years, along with new ideas about what to do if it doesn’t. Those ideas have even included demolishing it and turning it into a wildlife sanctuary for tax purposes, and they usually change each time the new sale deadline approaches—like now, for the big race.
But it’s an interesting story to follow nonetheless, if only to see what Brennan dreams up next.
Thanks for the email, John!