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It's history: historic Raceway Park set to close Sunday night

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This is the final weekend of stock car racing at Raceway Park, Minnesota's first paved speedway, and fans filled the stands Friday night to pay tribute to the track that opened in 1956, reports KARE 11.

Over the past 57 years, some of the biggest names in motorsports, like Dale Earnhardt, Mark Martin and Dick Trickle, raced on the small oval speedway along Hwy 101 in Shakopee.

Back in April the Star Tribune reported, that Recovery Technology Solutions was buying part of the racetrack site to build a $20 million asphalt-recycling center, and Raceway's owner felt he had to sell.

“This was a difficult decision,” owner John Hellendrung said in a statement on the track's website. “However, economic conditions leave me [no] choice but to pursue this avenue.”

Shakopee's Mayor Brad Tabke told the Strib: “It’s really sad to be losing [Raceway Park] as part of our community. It’s been a huge asset to Shakopee for a long time."

Fans are still holding out hope that the track will be relocated somewhere else in the Twin Cities, but there are no current plans. Elko Speedway is the closest motor speedway to the metro area, reports KARE 11.

Raceway Park's grand finale will be Sunday, Sept. 1, with the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Season Championships.

Gates will open at 5pm on this historic night of racing with fast lap qualifying at 5:30.

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