ST. CHARLES, MD :: Franklin County Speedway is back in the hands of Donald “Whitey” Taylor after the departures of Langley Austin and John Hall in the last nine days.
The sequence of events began on Saturday night, June 7th. Things had been smooth all race until the final moments of the evening’s racing program when Taylor attempted a coup d’état and tried to seize control of racing operations. During that time period, Taylor took control of the public address system where he spent his time endlessly promoting a mud bog.
After the race, many members of the track staff left, feeling dejected knowing all the progress made over the last year has all been undone in a matter of minutes. The days following saw the cancellation of a big race and two management changes.
For days, fans and drivers, many of whom knowing of the events of Saturday night, wondered what would become of Franklin County Speedway and spent the week sporting an impressive show of support for Austin and his track staff. Then, on Thursday night, the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) cancelled their June 21st race at Franklin County, citing a change in management. On Friday, the change of management was announced. Langley Austin and Moonshine Capital Promotions were no longer involved with FCS and the track now belonged to John Hall, who served as a tech inspector under Austin.
While these events were going on, Taylor was in the process of digging up and tearing out a large swath of the infield pit area to make room for his mud bog. Hall, who is a former racer himself, went down to Franklin County Speedway and had discussions with Taylor, in which Taylor informed Hall he would be holding mud bog events at the track twice a month. Following the discussion, Hall backed out of leasing the track, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, handing complete control to Taylor once again.
With Taylor back in control, several drivers vowed not to return to the track. One of the drivers miffed about the current situation is three-time and defending track champion Kyle Dudley.
”I’m not real sure what’s happening but I’m pretty sure Whitey screwed someone which has become the norm for there,” Dudley said. “I really hate it after all the effort Langley and his guys put into FCS. I really appreciate all they did to revive my home track.”
Dudley then went on to say he had no intentions to race under Taylor.
“It’s not looking too promising for that because we are looking to visit other tracks and had been all year,” Dudley explained. “I just feel like this is the time to go elsewhere. No offense to whoever ends up with FCS, I wish the best to them, unless it is previous management, and I hope they succeed. I just hate to see all the hard work go to waste and I hope it doesn’t.”
Dudley plans to compete at various tracks, including Ace Speedway and Lonesome Pine Raceway.
That’s it. That’s the story of how Franklin County Speedway’s resurgence has come to an abrupt and heartbreaking end.
DISCLOSURE: Langley Austin, who was the promoter at Franklin County Speedway, is the owner and founder of RACE22.com. Andy Marquis, the Editor of RACE22.com, worked at Franklin County Speedway in media relations and as the track announcer.