On Monday, the Lincoln Journal Star published the article, “Kosiski family looking at possible options to sell I-80 Speedway.” It touched off a firestorm of discussion among the racing community — and incensed Joe Kosiski, co-owner of the Greenwood, Nebraska, oval.
“The track is not sold — it is for sale,” Kosiski told Outside Groove on Tuesday. “We have interested parties and more may come forward with an offer to buy. A conversation that the sports editor had with drivers led him to believe the track was sold. I had a conversation with him at the Silver Dollar Nationals [event, held last weekend at I-80 Speedway] and explained how I would feel if it were sold.”
“That’s what hurts me the most, because I love this place,” Kosiski said after Saturday’s Silver Dollar Nationals, the state’s largest racing event. “I love it with all my heart, I love the fans, I love the racers. How can I be happy (to see it sold)?”Joe Kosiski, as quoted in the Lincoln Journal Star
The track opened in 1994, and the Kosiski family bought it in the same year. Kosiski, 63, and his brother Steve, 61, own the racing facility. Joe’s son, Andrew, and Steve’s sons, Brian and Rob, race at the track. Their wives, Mona and Shelly, run the concession stands. Joe’s daughter, Lisa, plays an integral role in managing the facility.
“It’s truly a family operation,” said Kosiski. “We couldn’t do this without our kids and they couldn’t do it without us.”
“I’ve given years between me being a racer for the fans and being a track owner or promoter for the fans, so it’s time. I have to do some things for my wife and Steve has to do some things for his wife, and we both want to go be a fan for a few years before we get too old.”Joe Kosiski, as quoted in the Lincoln Journal Star
Under the Kosiski family’s direction, I-80 Speedway became one of the top dirt ovals in the country. It hosts the annual Silver Dollar Nationals, which features the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.
“Because the track is for sale, it doesn’t mean it will sell this year, next year, or in five or 10 years,” said Kosiski said. “It all comes down to who purchases it and what they want to do with it.”
While the long-term future for I-80 Speedway looks hazy, Kosiski clearly sees the next year ahead.
“You cannot write that 2022 will be the track’s last season ,” Kosiski said. “We don’t know what the future looks like. But, I can tell you one thing — I’m not going to step out on the guys who supported us for all these years. There will be a 2022 season.”
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 51st year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.