Chandler Speedway will be missed

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Chandler Speedway is racing toward a sale. What’s beyond the finish line is anybody’s guess. In one month, 131 acres including the track and drag strip will be sold at auction.

It’s a sad fate for some to see, but a winner may give some long-time racers hope.

“If they ever opened it back up I’d be ready to be back over here again,” said Ted Stahl.

Almost 50 years ago he raced his souped-up Mustang. “I just done it for entertainment,” he laughed.

The Speedway is practically his back yard, and he won every now and then. “Or I’d make it to the very last round then I’d screw up!” he said.

But being the fastest wasn’t the prize he chased.

“Being with my friends, all guys that I knew, lot of guys I worked with.”

At 81 years-old, his better racing days are over. But memories made on a track won’t fade from the mind of a man who lived it.

William Wilson Auctions is selling the track on March 20 at Chandler Community Center at 10 a.m.

Ted started there in the 50s, right about when the Speedway opened. He burned up the track about as long as Doug Duell has been alive.

“Really, really a cool place,” Duell said. The Evansville car salesman is an avid racer. He’s on the road Wednesday heading to race in Georgia.

“It’s a great family and friends sport,” he said. “I’ve made some life-long friends at the drag strip. Quite honestly maybe never would have met them if i wouldn’t have been racing.”

He learned the sport at Chandler Speedway in the 90s.

“I just hope someone will buy it any reopen it as a drag strip,” Duell said. He admitted, he has little interest with his hand in two car dealerships.

While the roar of engines out at the track is silent now, Ted and Dough will never forget.

“I’d come over on a Saturday night and watch them run,” said Stahl. “I’d sit and back my truck up to the fence there and watch ’em run.”

Ted it like so many in the Tri-State. He raced here, he lived here, and he loves it.

“I’d be right over here again if I knew they’d open it back up.”

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This story was originally published on February 20, 2019

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