Richmond Dragway crosses finish line with $3M sale to real estate trader

For a long time, the Richmond Dragway ran close to 75 gatherings for every calendar year at its observe. (Courtesy of Richmond Dragway)

The family members behind the longtime Richmond Dragway has cashed out its actual estate, marking the final chapter of nearly 60 many years of racing on the eastern Henrico website.

The quarter-mile dragstrip and its 72 acres at 1955 Portugee Street in Sandston offered in late December for $3.2 million. The consumer was an entity tied to Maryland-based mostly expense agency Greenspring Realty Companions, county data exhibit.

Johnny Davis

The seller was the Weis spouse and children, led by Johnny Davis, whose terrific-grandfather Pop Weis and terrific-uncle Dan Weis opened the keep track of in 1964.

Davis experienced been working the exhibit in recent yrs, up until its closure owing to the pandemic in late 2020.

Davis commenced performing at the Dragway when he was 16 as the announcer. Just after university he became its general manager, then in 2008 he and his spouse Allison purchased the company.

He claimed the track commonly ran up to 75 situations for each yr, primarily on weekends. Friday evenings ended up geared towards novices, whilst Saturdays noticed some greater speeds.

“It was folks that experienced a lot more invested in their automobiles and they were being seeking purses and all that stuff. They ended up racing for more substantial irons in the fire than just bragging legal rights,” Davis explained of the Saturday group. “They raced anything at all from a each day driver to a reason-developed race auto.”

When the pandemic strike and Richmond Dragway was shut down, Davis mentioned he took some stock of his life.

“Being compelled to near, I understood that I’ve done about all I want to do, can do, and designed all the sacrifices I was prepared to make managing the racetrack,” he reported.

“So I designed the final decision together with some of my relatives that I was likely to step back and not do this any longer. Nobody in my relatives preferred to get in excess of and do it as their occupation. That is why we elected to provide.”

For Greenspring Realty Associates, the Dragway offer is its 2nd neighborhood acquisition inside of a calendar year. In March 2021, an affiliate of the firm bought 22 acres at 2401 Elliham Ave. in Chesterfield for $3 million.

The dragstrip is now owned by out-of-city buyers. It is unclear what their designs for it are. (Mike Platania photo)

As of press time, no function is underway on the Chesterfield plot and no designs have been submitted for the Dragway land, which most a short while ago was assessed at $1.2 million.

A number of calls and e-mail sent to Greenspring principal Dan Flamholz went unreturned.

Offering the Dragway and officially closing the reserve on that era was bittersweet for Davis, as he recalled his family’s background in the neighborhood racing scene.

Right before opening the Dragway, Pop and Dan Weis operated racing venues in other localities like Tappahannock, Emporia and Petersburg. Davis explained his fantastic-uncle also opened Lakeside Car, which experienced attained a popularity as a pace shop.

A photo from Richmond Dragway’s early times in the 1960s. (Courtesy of Richmond Dragway)

“Lakeside was a hotbed for incredibly hot-rodders, people that liked to soup their cars up. (Dan and Pop) recognized it’d be wonderful to have a racetrack that they could go to,” Davis explained, noting that Lakeside Vehicle is however owned by his cousin Scott Weis.

These days the Davises function in authentic estate and, with Richmond Dragway shut, Virginia Motorsports Park in Dinwiddie is where by most neighborhood drag racing is carried out. Davis said he does not carry his 2012 Toyota Tundra out there – that is his every day driver – but claimed his brother has a race automobile that he even now operates.

“I enjoy the activity, the people today, the autos, all of that stuff. I truthfully was just all set for a different problem and one thing that would make it possible for me to be current in my kids’ lives a lot more,” he said.

“You don’t comprehend what you’re missing out on until finally you get a prospect to sluggish down, and that’s what COVID pressured us to do.”