A field of dreams
WORTHINGTON -- Larry Potter dreams of one day looking to the north and west of his Blue Line Travel Center and seeing Porsches and Jaguars maneuvering through a 3.5-mile road course, with spectators watching the action from seating areas or enjoy...
WORTHINGTON -- Larry Potter dreams of one day looking to the north and west of his Blue Line Travel Center and seeing Porsches and Jaguars maneuvering through a 3.5-mile road course, with spectators watching the action from seating areas or enjoying the amenities of a campground.
"It's been thought about for quite a while," said Potter, who plans to take his dream before members of the Nobles County Planning and Zoning Commission March 28 in Worthington.
"The vision is a motor sports complex, starting with a road course," explained Potter.
One of his major concerns, however, is getting the 400-acre parcel he has to work with properly zoned. The agricultural land is presently zoned for industrial development, but Potter is requesting it be zoned highway business. He also said the land must be annexed by the city before he is willing to move forward with the project.
As such, Potter said his plans for the road course are at least a year or two away from fruition.
Not a race track
Potter's vision for Victory Motor Sports Park (VMSP) is to lure people from across the country with their vintage motor cars, open race cars and modern race course cars to Worthington. Motorcyclists could also use the course.
"Everything's geared toward the farming community (in Worthington)," said Potter. "This would bring in different options. This would put our town on the map. It's diversification."
The nearest road course track in Minnesota is at Brainerd International Raceway, with others in the Midwest located at Road America in Wisconsin, Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan., and Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Ill.
As for VMSP, Potter envisions a 40-foot-wide asphalt course that can be divided into two courses. There would be approximately 15 corners of various radiuses and difficulty, and several straights for drivers to test speed, as well as three pit lanes, a paddock, pit areas, run-off areas and grid and pre-grid areas.
Drivers would pay for track time to use the course, and Potter said in addition to car enthusiasts, the course would likely be used by law enforcement as well.
"In this type of racing, the drivers are responsible for themselves," said Potter. "They're not racing for money -- they're just driving their cars."
As for the proposed location for the road course, Potter said it is ideal because of the easy access from Interstate 90 and Minnesota 60. The land is also relatively close to the airport, which he considers another bonus.
"There's nobody to bother -- that's why it's such a great place," said Potter. "You've got a natural buffer in the freeway, and we plan on planting trees -- that's another thing to buffer the noise."
Still, Potter said the noise a road course would generate would be about one-tenth of what the local racetrack generates on weekends during the summer.
Potter has developed a Web site for his proposed road course at www.victorymotorsportspark.com . For the past five months he has collected feedback from people across the country who have completed surveys on the site.
The information collected from the "several hundred" surveys received so far will be used in a feasibility study. Pending approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission and Nobles County, Potter will begin working with a developer to design the road course and the area surrounding it.
"To hire a company to draw up plans will cost a lot of money," said Potter. He wants to know now, before any money is spent, if the road course will be accepted by community leaders and residents.