CLEWISTON — The Hendry County Motorsports Park was broken into sometime over the New Year’s holidays — and just before the racetrack’s 2019 season was due to start.
Owner and promoter Ken Kinney posted a notice on his personal Facebook page on Wednesday morning, Jan. 2, saying that “I was just notified that my racetrack was broken into. All of my new sound equipment was stolen. Also, the concession stand was vandalized.”
Mr. Kinney drove there right away to check on any other damage that had been done, he wrote, and later updated fans on his “Hendry Racing” page: “I would like everyone know that although I am very disappointed in the events that took place concerning the scumbags that stole a lot from the speedway, we will race this Saturday and will replace what was stolen.” He was referring to Jan. 5; races also were scheduled this coming Saturday, Jan. 12.
Just last April, the track had reopened after being closed for more than a year because of a resurfacing project and then receiving “significant damage from Hurricane Irma,” according to the fan page performanceracing.com.
Track employee Jason Beckner posted pictures of the missing electronics on his Facebook page.
Mr. Kinney went on about security at the track. “Cameras are easy, but not totally effective without internet service. I will aggressively try to fix this issue, but easier said than done with no Wi-Fi available. We will try with Hughes Net because it is our only option.” Several supportive comments were posted from people suggesting alternative ways of improving security.
He thanked race fans for their “continued support,” adding, “By the way, there is a $1,000 reward if you have information leading up to the arrest of these scumbags, and believe it or not I’ve received two calls with leads.”
The 1/4-mile-long dirt oval track had just returned to action a few months ago, with its season opener on April 28. Meanwhile, Mr. Kinney’s message to the crooks was, “Don’t feel too secure, and you left a lot of prints so you better not be in the system.”
A message left Thursday, Jan. 3, with Hendry County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Susan Harrelle, public information officer, was not returned. Nor were messages left with the racetrack.
On race days at the Hendry track, the grandstands open at 4 p.m., and the racing starts at 7 p.m. at the park, 9985 W. U.S. 27, Clewiston. It lies in unincorporated Hendry County, 9.5 miles north of town and 5 miles south of Moore Haven (just north of Whidden Corner).
For more information, call 863-983-3478 or visit their website at hendryracing.com.