Merlin, ON- South Buxton Raceway was victimized by a wild vandalism spree overnight Sunday-early Monday. The track ambulance received the most damage, with many of its contents either stolen or destroyed, plus heavy damage inside the driver’s compartment. The water truck, tractor and other equipment was damaged and windshields smashed on several pieces of equipment. Blake Outhouse thought the damage would cancel racing for one, if not two weeks, but thanks to the support from drivers, crews, fans, etc…. we’re racing this Saturday!
“Start your engines – we’re racing!”
That was how Blake Outhouse answered his phone Wednesday night … when it rang every five seconds!
Thanks to an army of volunteers, the green flag will be waving this Saturday night at South Buxton Raceway (grandstand opens 5:30 p.m., racing starts at 7 p.m.).
Close to 40 people came out to the track to help clean up and repair the damage left behind by vandals overnight Sunday-early Monday.
“We have drivers and crews and fans and families and kids … it’s truly amazing the number of people we have out here tonight,” the track promoter said.
The workers vacuumed up glass from smashed windshields throughout the pits, helped replace windshields in the ambulance, water truck and tractor.
The ambulance, which received the most damage, was scrubbed inside and out and supplies were completely restocked, thanks to donations by several individuals.
“Amazing …,” Outhouse repeated about the response of the racing community.
“Words don’t describe the help we’re getting from people from all over drivers, fans, other race tracks … the phone calls, texts and messages.
“This racing community is unbelievable, I mean totally unbelievable … it’s very humbling,” said an emotional Outhouse.
Outhouse said he received calls from three other tracks, offering the service of their ambulance.
When Outhouse first discovered the vandalism early Monday morning, he was afraid racing might be cancelled for at least one week – and maybe longer.
But he credits the overwhelming support from the racing community for getting the facility and equipment back in shape just two days later.
Defending UMP Late Model points champion Gregg Haskell posted on his Facebook page earlier Wednesday that drivers will be coming over to the grandstands at intermission to ‘pass the helmet,’ hoping that fans will make small donations that will add up to help defray the costs of repairs.
Outhouse Image & Design will host a car wash, barbecue and silent auction on Sunday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., again with proceeds going to help pay the bills.
Several drivers have stepped up and donated prizes for the auction and many have posted on social media they will be donating their earnings back to the track.
There are also plans for a pre-race barbecue at the track before the June 1 race night.
The incident is under investigation by the Chatham-Kent Police Service.
It is the second occurrence of vandalism this month, as culprits damaged the water truck before the May 4 season opening night.
Anyone who has information on either incident is asked to call Chatham-Kent Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or by email to email@example.com
Tip forms are also available on line at www.crime-stoppers.on.ca . You may be eligible for a cash reward.
You can also 519-809-3587 and leave a message. Your identity will be kept confidential.
From: Mike Bennett
For more information, please call Mike Bennett 519-351-4765