Credit Greg Moore for photos
Click on link for more photos
I44 Riverside Speedway was
hit very hard by an EF3 tornado. The tornado was about 1/4 to 1/2 mile wide as
it hit the speedway. Promoters Mark Banister and Gloria Olexia also had their
home completely destroyed a few miles east of the trackas
the tornado intensified to an EF5. Gloria's daughter was at the home when the
two mile wide tornado hit, she was pulled from the wreckage very shaken, but
unharmed. They finally found refuge late last night, but are reunited and safe.
posted of the devastation were taken as Greg
other I44 Riverside patrons were the first to arrive at what was left of the
To everyone in
the racing community - I44 Riverside will be back THIS SEASON. Cleanup will be a
monumental effort, thank you to all who have volunteered to help - we will need
it and more.
Details of the
debris are visible in photos, but main grandstand is in a heap in the infield,
score tower somehow still standing, but ruined. The pit grandstand is in a
wooden heap in turn 3. Track access structures have all been leveled, but the
concession stand survived. All of the track equipment was lost, the lighting,
PA, electrical, even the flagstand all ruined. Unfortunately, all track
equipment also lost as well.
I spoke with I44
Riverside Speedway Promoter Mark Banister late last night - and while everything
was insured - we still have a cleanup on our hands unlike anything seen before
in this region's racing. With the support of the best teams and fans in the
nation, as well as the leading
motorsports outlets in the country,
we can and will restore the only track in Oklahoma City so that we can put some
happiness in hearts that today are so heavy. Together we will bring back and
celebrate I44 Riverside Speedway.
But today is a
time to grieve and pray for the victims of this horrific tragedy - for those who
lost everything and those that lost even more. There are so many broken and
heavy hearts, so many who are suffering - PLEASE do anything you can to help.
The race track can wait, please do what you can for the families who are
suffering. The following link contains detailed information on how you can help,
please contribute in any way you can.
If you weren't there you missed out.