“It’s true, we’ve purchased the track. Give us time, we’re going to fix it.”
Mountain View Raceway is formerly known as Rhea County Raceway and Spring City Raceway.
The track has sat dormant for a long time. Now, Kelvin Hampton who turned his first laps at the track in the early 90’s has turned around and purchased the Spring City, Tennessee property.
Hampton owns a construction business. He’s had a his own crew at the track for months. They’ve flipped it and turned it into what’s already a beautiful facility.
“In the 1980’s, somebody got mad at the track and burned everything over here,” Kelvin Hampton told RacingNews.co . “Every bit of it. It was rebuilt in the 90’s and I don’t even know who rebuilt it.”
“But, our new scoring tower was sitting all the way on the other side of the track and halfway rotted down. It was still cheaper to move it than it was to build a new one.”
It looks brand new though. So, how did you do that?
“If you put enough Bondo on it, anything will look good. It looks good. It’s getting better every day. Just good carpenters. The structure is solid. It stood being moved all the way around the track. It’s solid, it just needed a little love and care.”
Upgrades to the new Mountain View Raceway
What all have you upgraded? And what else it on the list?
“Pretty much the entire track and everything around it.”
“I’m going to build a new concession stand where you come off the track. I few more grandstands on the hill. I have about 2,000 bleachers that came from the Cleveland Speedway. I’m going to put those all the way across the front.”
“Spring City is going to let us have sewer. So, we can do all kinda of new bathrooms. That’s what it needs.”
I would imagine drainage would be an issue on the infield of the track because of the bowl like shape of the track? Or did you already solve that problem?
“That was the first thing I did. It’s an all new pipe, all the way across. The reason it’s muddy there right now is because I can’t let it get out of here.”
“Once this thing’s done, I’m going to have grass in the center. Then, I can take the steel plate off the pipe and let the water drain out of here. It’s not an issue, we’ve got all kinds of drainage.”
How many lights do you have here?
“There’s 56 facing the track. We got some going in the pits and stuff. We turned them on when we only had 12 facing the track and we could have raced with that. You can actually see them from the top of Spring City Mountain. That’s 5-6 miles away. It’s lit up pretty good.”
Mountain View Raceway: Track Facts
What is the size and banking?
“It’s a 1/4-mile track. The banking is an average of about 23 degrees. 17 degrees on the front stretch and about 12 degrees on the back straight. It’s pretty steep so it should be pretty quick.”
I grew up loving bullrings. I still love 1/4-mile tracks of any shape more than any other track size. But, I used to especially love 1/4-mile tracks with high banks. Recently, I’ve gotten away from my love of high banking. I think it becomes a motor track with the cars of today being so hooked up. What are your thoughts on that?
“That’s possible. The old Atomic Speedway was very steep, pretty much all the way around. The back straight away was pretty flat. For all practical purpose, it was like this one here.”
“That’s what everybody was wanting, a steep banked track. When you add banking, their cars don’t have to handle perfect. The steeper the banking, the less their cars have to handle. Motors are an issue — But, if we play by the rules then it’s the same motors. We’re all going to race the same motors.”
“We’re going to tech these cars before they go on the track and we’re going to give them a little smiley sticker. If it’s good, you’re good to go. If it’s not, I promise you, you’re not going to win it. You can go race. But, you’re not going to win it. We’re going to make sure of that.”
The track is expected to be more racy this time around
Has the banking changed at all and did you change it?
“When I first bought it, there was only one concrete wall on the race track. It was in front of the main grandstands and was not wide enough to race on. It was like 25 feet wide. I took out all the concrete bleachers and widened the track out.”
“I put 500 loads of dirt on the front to make the banking stepper on the front. It’s got a lot more banking and it’s a lot wider. 75 feet wide down the straight-aways. I changed the ends too. I steepened them up and tried to get some more length out of the straight-aways.”
“The only way to get more length, without a whole lot of work was to make the banking steeper. Which it needed because it was pretty rough. It needed a lot of attention.”
Mountain View Raceway: Classes
What night are you running? What classes?
“I’ve got a friend named Duke Lowe and he’s raced his whole life. He’s going to help me manage this. We have discussed trying to run five different classes then switch them up for the next week.”
“We’d run steel heads, crates, b-hobby and Thunder on one weekend. Then, we’d switch switch to open wheel modifieds, mod lites and just the opposite the next week.”
“If we have a rainout, we’ll figure out if we work it in on a Sunday or how we do that.”
“I want to have a points chase. So, if they want to go somewhere else to race, it don’t mess them up. Lets say Bull Gap has a big race and they’re in the lead in the points here. Alternating weeks solves that.”
“And one place gets boring. All year, you’re bored. I’m going to make it so they can move around. I think we’ll keep plenty of cars. And when you’re switching classes like that, it should work. They can race here one weekend. They can go to I-75 the next weekend.”
Mountain View Raceway: Opening Soon
When do you plan to open the gates?
“I’d love to done been open. I fought Spring City for a year and a half to get a permit to put sewer on this.”
“I want the women and the men to be able to come over here, go to the bathroom and say, ‘Oh god, that didn’t stink.’ This place was notorious for that. There was no bathrooms. The bathrooms were under the concession stand. You had to go down these unbelievable set of wooden steps, to get to it. It was real bad.”
“I don’t want to open it until I have all that working. Once I get it working, we’ll race.”
Mountain View Raceway: Permits
I heard you had issues with permits. Was that just the sewer deal? Or was there something else too?
“The TDEC (Tennessee Department of Conservation) permits took quite a bit of time. They don’t want mud getting out of here. But, this place is washing away so bad.”
“They was tickled to death once they did come and see it. And said, ‘Let’s give you a permit and get you to work.’ The parking lot here was gullies, three foot deep.”
It’s that they don’t want mud getting out onto the highway?
“They don’t want mud getting out of here period. In the creeks and everything else. I have solved 99% of that.”
So, it’s not that you’re waiting on the state right now? In any way.
“I have a civil engineer that is drawing up a set of sewer plans. He has them pretty much finished. But, he is slammed with a lot more, high paying work. So, I’ve not pushed him.”
“Although I have a permit from Spring City, I cannot lay the sewer. I have to have their engineer approve his plans. Then they have to go to TDEC and TDOT again to be approved.”
“If I had them in hand and was going to deliver them today. It still might take three months. I don’t think I could touch the ground for three months.”
“So, I’m saying it will be Spring. Just the simple fact that I don’t want to open it with no bathrooms. I want it right.”
Laps turned at the new Mountain View Raceway
I saw the video of the car on the track. Who was that? And has anyone else run any laps?
“That was my son. Jesse Lowe also came over and ran for a little bit. I actually asked him to. To help Bubba, my son, get setup a little bit for this track. Jesse raced here when he was a kid.”
“But, as the time, we didn’t have no power. So, there was no way of watering the track. I put what I could on it. It wasn’t enough.”
“There’s been a lot of public official cars here, let’s just say that. They’re people that raced here when they were kids. It shut down. They got full-time jobs. Here they are back and they can’t believe that it’s open.”
“When I first bought this thing, there was a sign leaned up in the corner. It said, ‘It’s true, we’ve purchased the track. Give us time, we’re going to fix it.’ “