Disputes over land; repairs are holding up the race season

(Sheridan, Wyo.) There's still hope for the new Cloud Peak Raceway. When Craig Draper signed a 3 year lease-to-purchase agreement with former Sheridan Speedway owners Clint Jensen and Rod Will, it was with the understanding that he would renovate the property and update it to safety standards that would protect both drivers and spectators. Now, Draper says, that agreement is in jeopardy. For months, Draper and volunteers from the community contributed their own time and money to clean up and repair the abandoned property. It opened in May of 2015. This past Friday it was announced that the raceway would suspend all operations for the rest of the race season. That might not happen if Draper can get permission to replace the gates going in to turn one and two, which he says are a hazard. "All the rigging is broken away, it's swung loose in to the opening," Draper told Pitchengine. "To keep the business going and to continue adding better shows, changes need to be made." In the lease purchase it says that if Draper remodels, he has to get permission first from the current owners. He says he's asked three times to fix problem areas around the track, even submitting the changes in writing. But before that happens, the current owners want a letter from the insurance provider saying that it's a safety hazard and has to be fixed. On Friday Draper will be making another attempt to close on the property and own it outright, in order to make the changes that need to be made and keep the speedway operating. If the current owners don't agree to sell, there will be a multi-party lawsuit ongoing with nothing happening at the speedway, indefinitely. "We'll have no choice [but to keep it closed] until the safety issues are addressed," Draper says. "My biggest concern is the safety of the drivers and the community. I'm not going to put someone's life at risk." #dally #news