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(January 11, 2001) -- Apparently after 15 years as the owner/operator of the all-concrete track known as the Texas Motorplex, Texan Billy Meyer has sold the fabled track to bracket track operator Robert "Hutch" Hutchison. Hutchison has been the track operator of the eighth-mile Texas Raceway in Ft. Worth, Texas.

It has been known for sometime that Meyer had wanted to sell the facility. At the 2000 NHRA Dallas national event it was rumored that Texas car dealer Buzz Post and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman were part of a group that were interested in buying the track. The price mentioned at the time was in excess of six million dollars. Hutchison's name was mentioned in all of the rumors as a possible player in any sale that might take place.

Now, it would seem that Hutchison has made the deal on his own and with no acknowledged partners. Evidently Meyer was anxious to be rid of the facility as sources told DRO that the deal was made with only a $200,000 down payment.

In a copyrighted story broken by Dallas Morning News writer Tony Fabrizio on January 9 Hutchison confirmed that he had been talking to IHRA president Bill Bader about switching the sanctioning of the track from NHRA to IHRA. Sources have confirmed to DRO that Hutchison will indeed switch the track to an IHRA sanction for 2001. This move makes sense because with both the Motorplex and Hutchison's Ft. Worth-based track going to IHRA there would be nine IHRA sanctioned drag strips in the state of Texas.

DRO has been told that IHRA pres Bill Bader has told Hutchison that he could get an IHRA national event in May and it has been reported that, if everything goes according to plan, Bader would announce that new date at the upcoming IHRA awards banquet.

Complicating the matter, NHRA still has one more race left on its contract with the Motorplex, which leaves open the possibility that the Motorplex could add one more first to its long list of achievements in drag racing by being the first track in recent memory to host National Events from two major sanctioning bodies in the same year.

NHRA VP of Communications Jerry Archambeault in the Dallas Morning News story confirmed the possibility of that scenario. There have been reports that Bruton Smith, who already has three NHRA National Event sites and has talked of building a track in Ft. Worth near his circle track, might step up and take another NHRA event.

However, if the rumors that Smith has lost around a $1,000,000 at his Bristol, TN track and hasn't yet turned a profit at his Las Vegas facility are true, Bruton's desire to build more NHRA drag racing tracks may have cooled.

The Motorplex was an IHRA sanctioned track in the late 1980s when Meyer owned the IHRA sanctioning body but, even with full 16-car fields of Fuel Coupes and Dragsters, the stands were never full. Even the first four by Eddie Hill couldn't fill the stands and Meyer returned the Motorplex to NHRA sanctioning as soon as he could.

Should both IHRA and NHRA stage National Events at the track during the 2001 season, the direct comparison of the ability of the IHRA vs. the NHRA to draw racers and spectators will be very closely watched.

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