Track developers begin a marketing campaign Media, sponsors compete in video game against NASCAR's Bobby Allison

August 14, 1998|By Laura Sullivan | Laura Sullivan,SUN STAFF

Developers building a $100 million speedway on the Solley peninsula launched a marketing campaign at the ESPN Zone in Baltimore yesterday, giving local media and track sponsors a chance to race against NASCAR legend Bobby Allison in a video game.

A dozen representatives from Baltimore television and radio stations played the game as crowds gathered to learn more about the Chesapeake Motorsports Development Corp.'s proposed track. Shortly afterward, the developers piled into a 50-foot-long stretch sport utility vehicle to travel to the Kennedy Krieger Institute for children with disabilities and make a $1,000 donation.

Track financier Melissa Berge is on the Baltimore institute's board.

Allison, who signed on last year as Chesapeake Motorsports' spokesman, and developers also attended a campaign fund-raiser for Democratic Anne Arundel County Councilman Thomas W. Redmond Sr., who helped the developers find a site and get needed zoning changes on the Solley property.

Despite many hurdles, Chesapeake needs to buy land from the Maryland Port Administration for the track and other property for parking. The developers are moving ahead in negotiating with Indy Racing League for one of its racing series, said Joe Mattioli III, the chief operating officer.

Yesterday, General Manager Chris Lencheski said Chesapeake is considering sponsoring Virginia Slims Legends Tour tennis matches, possibly in the parking lot at the racetrack when the track is up and running in 2000.

Lencheski said bringing tennis into the world of race-car driving could be one way to add local supporters for the track.

"We've got a venue," he said, "and once the concessions and everything are set, we can offer pretty much anything we want."

Pub Date: 8/14/98

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