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Race car drivers hope track near Jupiter does not close

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Cameron May, and sons Carson and Merrick. (WPEC)

It's been a landmark on the Beeline Highway near Jupiter for almost 60 years. The Palm Beach International Raceway could soon be sold.

It appears the groundwork is now in place to possibly sell this racetrack to a developer from Atlanta who may shut down the track and build warehouses on the property.

That outcome would be a big disappointment to some who love this racetrack.

"It would be sad to see it go because it's a one of a kind area and I'd really like to see it stay a raceway," said Cameron May, Jupiter vice-mayor.

For Cameron May, the Palm Beach International Raceway is near and dear to his heart.

His dad used to take him there as a child to watch auto racing, and when Cameron turned 16 he started racing there himself with his 2004 Mustang GT.

He wants to pass on that hobby to his two little boys, Carson, 18 months old, Merrick, age 3, and he hopes the racetrack won't close.


"It's something that's been in this community for a very long time. It's been a place for people to go to take their families and enjoy racing," May said.

According to documents filed at the PB County Clerk of Court, Portman Industrial---a developer in Atlanta---has a memorandum of contract to buy Palm Beach International Raceway. Portman did not respond to an email seeking comment, but they reportedly hope to buy the racetrack property and build warehouses on it. The documents do not say what price Portman Industrial has offered.

Cameron and other racing buffs hope it's not too late to save the racetrack.

"I don't want to see it go. I enjoy spending my time out there," said Derek Perez, a Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue firefighter-paramedic.

Perez has been racing as a hobby at the track for more than 20 years.

"My sister is also big into drag racing, my brother- in- law. I'm a family of drag racers. My dad was going out there in the 70's," Perez said.

"I think there's places for them to go that would be a better fit than mowing over a raceway for it. Putting another raceway somewhere in our area would be next to impossible," May said.

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw is concerned if the track is shut down, the result could be more people racing on the streets.

Bradshaw released a statement Tuesday which reads in part:

"If this racetrack is lost, it means we could see an increase in drag racing, motorcycle racing and reckless driving on our neighborhood streets and highways, which could lead to senseless fatalities."

A PBSO spokeswoman said Sheriff Bradshaw was not available for an on-camera interview and his written statement speaks for itself.

Formula Race Promotions made a $55 million offer to buy Palm Beach International Raceway, make upgrades and preserve it as a race track .

The property includes a 2.2 mile race course and a drag strip.

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