ALTAMAHAW, NC :: So many questions, so few answers. In the last six years really, the situation at Ace Speedway has been anything but boring. A new owner, more GM’s than most tracks have had in their entire history, and now with the resignation of Brad Allen in December to head up the effort at Southern National Motorsports Park we have even more questions. I talked to owner Abraham Woidislawky to find out what was going on. I’m happy to report that we talked for almost an hour… and I may be more confused than before I picked the phone up. It was interesting to say the least.
First off, let me tell you a little about the owner, Abraham Woidislawsky. He is a Philadelphia businessman of Israeli descent. As a matter of fact, he has over 16 businesses he owns including the Ace Speedway facility in Altamahaw. He got the track six years ago from David Morton and, in that time, the track has had more ups and downs than a motocross track. Five different General Managers in his six years, some of them good, some of them bad, one even had three different names and we still aren’t sure who that guy actually was, we do know he was one of Woidislawsky’s friends from Philly. Now it has come full circle again, Brad Allen is gone and the track has a lot of unanswered questions, including the checks for all drivers that bounced from the banquet on February 2nd. Here it goes:
When I contacted Mr. Woidislawsky, the first thing that was discussed was the bounced checks from the banquet. It’s now three weeks after the fact and they are still not good.
“It was a mistake by my secretary, not a big deal, the money will be there on tomorrow (Monday),” Said Woidislawsky.
When I pointed out that is in fact was a “big deal” and it has happened before he got somewhat defensive.
“I said it was a mistake,” he continued. “We didn’t mean for it to happen. I almost fired my secretary over it and she has been with me for years. Everyone is always paid there, every week, I have kept this track open for six years now and all I get is bad talk.”
He said he wrote the checks out of a business account and not the track account.
Next we got into who would be running the track this year and it got really odd then. We actually turned it into a yelling match, I honestly can’t understand him well as his English is poor and we tried to talk over each other. Somewhere in the first five minutes of that conversation, I was actually offered the job of GM. I gracefully declined and, when asked why, I simply said I didn’t want the hassle it already is. I did ask him about the rumor of former Friendship Speedway GM Randy Myers taking the helm and he didn’t know anything for sure.
“Maybe,” said Woidislawsky. . “He might. We have no one to name right now. You know people, right? You’re in racing. I know nothing about this whole racing thing and I admit that, find me someone. Help me out here. Maybe you can run it? You like Ace Speedway? I know nothing about these people. I want to find someone though. All I know is Brad”.
I had to ask him the question that we all have been wondering forever. Why did a businessman from Philadelphia that knows absolutely nothing about racing purchase a little track in Altamahaw? His response was interesting.
“It…..ehhh…it was a mistake,” Woidislawsky said.
When I asked him to explain it got even better.
“It’s like when you go to a restaurant for the first time, maybe the food is not good, you don’t know so you lose your money,” he continued.
And to this I responded that I might lose out on $10, not $2.1 million. I’m pretty sure I’d do a little more research on that wad of cash as opposed to where I’m going to eat at. He simply flat out refuses to answer the question of why he has the track. The only thing I can get is, “it was a mistake,” over and over again. We argued some more before I came to the conclusion that we will never know why he has the track, but I respect his decision not to say whatever that may be.
When told that people there are not happy and he has to actually put money back into the track to make it successful, he said, “That’s not my job to keep it open, it’s the people’s job to keep it open. I have kept it open for six years and paid for it all, I lose money every year. People should be happy I have kept the track open.”
I just really didn’t know what to say to this, it was like he thought that, without him, the track would fall off the face of the earth. There are other people to buy race tracks.
“You come to me and say all these bad things, checks bouncing and all this,” Woidislawsky stated. “Where are all the good things I have done? Why have you not talked about them? It was me that kept the track open this long. Where are the good things?”
“I don’t know. What have you done well,” I responded. “There is more to it than opening the front gate, you have to get involved, give some feedback.”
“That is the job of the local people to make sure the gate is open and to come out and watch the sport. Nobody knows what kind of person I am. No one thinks I do good.”
After this exchange I figured I should just move on to something else.
Whew, it is tiresome just reliving this again. So if it was a mistake and you’re losing money, why not just sell it? Is the track not for sale?
“Everything has a price,” said Woidislawsky. “I’m sure your website is for sale. Everything has a price.”
When asked about the ad he has on Racingjunk.com that is asking for half partnership for a “sweet” deal of just $2.4 million (when he paid $2.1 million for the whole track), he said he didn’t know anything about it.
“I don’t know what people do, people do things,” Woidislawsky responded. “I know the track is open. You know racing, please find someone to run it for me, not for me, for the people of Ace Speedway.”
I can say he genuinely wants someone to run his racetrack, that’s for sure.
Well why have you had five GM’s in just six years at your track, what is the problem?
“None of them knew what they were doing,” Woidislawsky exclaimed. “They didn’t know how to run it. Some people didn’t like this person, now everyone is saying they don’t like the person I’m talking to now. The first time you run it, you get every money you need.”
I told him that every other track doesn’t have a problem. They have had the same people there for years, and then I brought up former GM Greg Davis.
“WHOOO,” asked a confused Woidislawsky.
“Greg Davis, he ran your race track a few years ago,” I replied.
“I have never heard of this person, who is this?”
“GREG DAVIS, he ran your track!”
“Ohhhh, I remember him now, yes you are correct. Yeah, he was no good either. He didn’t know what he was doing either. He had no idea. Yeah, no good.”
At this point in the interview I have commenced to drinking.
Staying on the theme of GM’s, we move to Brad Allen. As everyone knows, Brad was the former racer who turned GM to save his track from falling into the abyss. Three years have passed and Allen has brought the track from the brink of death to one of the best tracks in the Southeast. However, he can only do so much as he doesn’t have ownership of the track. So, Allen resigned in December and is now the head man at Southern National Motorsports Park. Needless to say, Mr. Woidislawsky has a different view of how Allen handled things at Ace.
“What Brad did to me was wrong,” explained Woidislawsky. “He tell me nothing. He not tell me he leaving,”
Well that’s funny, I knew about it in October. We had numerous press releases on it and then the final one when he announced his resignation. After Allen signed his resignation, he signed one more contract to stay on for another month to help in the transition process of getting another GM. A five-point plan for things to be done was also given the owner. Three of those were met so that was the ultimate and final reason of why Allen left.
I then told him that Allen was named the “Southeast Track Promoter of the Year” (an award that I had made up at that very moment) and his response was, “Yes, I know, I know, I saw that”.
So, if you read all this, we can probably see how you feel about this man. I’m going to look at the other side, Mr. Woidislawsky really does want the track to be open. I believe that. And he promises that it will be open on March 29th for the first race, I believe that also. Abraham seems like a nice guy under it all. He is extremely hard to deal with and has no idea what he is doing regarding racing but I think he means well in the end.
Telling the truth would be a start, he tells me people haven’t contacted him, so and so did this, this happened. You do realize I live here and talk to most of these people every day right? It just seems he is cutting too many corners. Race tracks are expensive and until we find out his reasoning for purchasing the facility, it’s hard to draw any conclusions on any intentions. I’ve talked to him three times in the last two days and I still can’t figure out what in the world his goal of all this is.
I’ve been sitting on this story for four weeks now; I can never release it because every day more ridiculous stuff happens. It looks as if half the drivers there have already made other plans to run other tracks, and the majority of the ones still left say they aren’t going to race if Myers becomes the GM as they have had dealings with him in the past. I’m sure cars will come back and, if Myers does take the helm, I hope it does work out. I love Ace Speedway and want to see it continue on.
It just pisses me off as the track is my home track. It’s where I have been nearly every Friday night the past four years and the track itself is the one that looks bad. The facility is top notch, the food is good, the fans are awesome and the racing at Ace beats any other track I’ve been to. I’ve said it and many others have too, 13 cars racing at Ace put on a better show than 30 cars at any other track most of the time. And to sit here and see it be disgraced by total BS gets under my skin. It makes the track look bad, makes employees look bad, makes the racing look bad and makes the fans look stupid for attending. It makes me look bad too as I would like to think I’ve helped draw some interest and cars to the track myself. But what can you do?
I’m going to continue to be in touch with Mr. Woidislasky (I guess we are friends now, we are comfortable yelling at each other), and try to make this track stay alive. I can’t do it by myself though, and ultimately he will have to step up to the plate and either take control or sell it and cut his loses. Someone please find some money, and don’t worry about that price tag you have been seeing, I can get you a sweet deal. The backs are against the wall, something has to happen NOW.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not reflect RACE22.com as a whole.