Sunday, November 19, 2017

Lakeside Speedway; Whose Side Are You On?

Hatfields and McCoys come to mind right now?

Hatfields and McCoys come to mind right now?

Silver Lake, KS – It seems that in less than a weeks time the turmoil at Lakeside Speedway is beginning to resemble the Hatfield and the McCoys.

It was on January 20th that In The Pits learned of a pending lawsuit filed by the Marrs family against the Johnsons.

The parties involved are the co-owners of Lakeside Speedway, which they purchased a few years back from Marc and Page Olson. It seemed that everything was right in the world as the group embarked on their journey together.

While Lakeside has fallen off since the group took ownership, nobody could have imagined the wheels falling off the wagon with the pending lawsuit.

The Topeka Capital Journal posted a story written by Aly VanDyke on January 27th, where she detailed the case and gathered information from both sides. This article brought to light a lot of questions on what was actually going on between the parties involved.

ITP decided to share the article and court documents on our Facebook page. A lot of people had questions regarding the matter and what better way to settle the rumor mill than by letting everyone have the chance to read the public document. VanDyke’s article attempted to get both sides of the story so they could chronicle it.

The Capital Journal’s interest comes from the Johnson’s bid to become the management group of Heartland Park Topeka. Heartland Park Topeka is a whole other mess that we won’t get into in this article.

As more and more people have read the article, many individuals are coming to their own conclusions.

Some people are on the side of Johnson and some people are on the side of Marrs. There are several different reasons that people are choosing what they want to believe. I don’t have any control over that and either does anyone else. People will gather information and make their own decisions.

When ITP first found out about this lawsuit on January 20th we sent an email to Mike Johnson to see if he would like to comment and we also reached out to Don Marrs as well. As expected neither of the individuals above commented on anything too me but I did talk to someone in each of their camps to get a better idea of what was going on.

Even with talking with these individuals, I still don’t have a side that I favor. If there is a side that I favor it’s of the fans, racers and sponsors of the Kansas City, KS race track. They will be held to suffer if the track does not open.

Looking at social media sites right now the readings are off the chart! Some people favor Johnson, some people favor Marrs, some people are undecided and some people just want to know what is going to happen to Lakeside Speedway.

This morning I had a request to join the Facebook page, we support Mike & Kyle Johnson group. I guess I joined it or was added by someone that started the group. In the end I wanted to go see what it was and look around on it.

ITP doesn’t have anyone in this ordeal that we are supporting. I will say it again, “We don’t support either side in this thing!”

If we wanted to I am sure that we could interview 100 people that would tell me that Mike & Kyle Johnson are the greatest of individuals and for those 100 people I am sure I can find 100 more that will tell me that Don Marrs and his wife are the greatest of individuals. That is not the point.

The point is that one part of the ownership group feels like some things didn’t go down the way they thought it should go and to rectify the situation they thought that litigation was the only way to handle it. It is their right to do so.

On the other side of the coin the Johnson’s will have to prove that they did everything in the best interest of the partnership and it was done on the up and up. It’s as simple as that.

As for racers, fans and sponsors what we can hope for is that the two sides to get together and discuss what has gone on and come to some sort of agreement that keeps Lakeside Speedway going.

My personal feeling is that since we are at this stage in the action it will take a miracle to get this done.

One thing I said I long time ago is that a partnership is not a good idea when owning a race track. Multiply that by 10 when the partnership group is 50/50! Who the hell is suppose to make the ultimate decision if someone has to make the call? I believe that in this group it should have been 51/49, if anything. It wasn’t.

In the end I believe that all parties share in the blame of the current state of Lakeside Speedway.

If this goes all the way through the court system and a verdict is rendered favoring one’s claim over the other, I will live with that.

I hope everyone else waits for that to happen too. As I don’t favor anyone involved right now, but I do favor that resolution in this matter be obtained.

Trying to convict or exonerate anyone at this time is a waste of effort. Only the parties involved know exactly what their actions have been since they took over the track in 2013. A judge or jury will have to let everyone of us know who was right and who was wrong.

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