Monarch Motor Speedway vs. the City

Monarch Motor Speedway vs. the City

A battle is brewing between Monarch Motor Speedway and the City of Wichita Falls, resulting in the abrupt cancellation of the 2023 season.

The Texas dirt oval sat dormant for 2022, when the Kelton family put it up for sale.

(For more on that, read “Monarch Motor Speedway Up for Sale”.)

At the end of 2022, the track appeared set to reopen in 2023. The track had a clean-up day little over a month ago on January 21.

Then, on February 22, Monarch Motor Speedway announced on Facebook it would not reopen for 2023. It came as a surprise to many in the racing community. The track cited the City of Wichita Falls as a major contributing factor to cancelling the season.

“There are several reasons why, but the primary component right now is one that the City is imposing on us with utilities.

“We are reasonable people, but we feel we are literally being held hostage by the City in which could easily turn into a very large, and unnecessary, utility cost that could very well eliminate any chance our business would have to even break-even for the season.

“Between the personal investment in time and cost that it takes to get the facility race-ready for each event, coupled with this sudden large unplanned (and unjustified) expense, we’ve decided it is not in our best interest to forge ahead.

“If you’d like to let City administrators know what Monarch Motor Speedway meant to you and your family, feel free to reach out to them at  and/or by emailing [email protected] or leave a review at

The City of Wichita Falls released a statement via a press release. Within it, it said the following:

“The City of Wichita Falls has been, and continues to be, supportive of Monarch Motor Speedway. In an effort to support this business and its operations, over the past three years, the City has assisted the owners as they worked through private utility issues with the adjacent landowner.

“This included, but was not limited to, providing utility payment extensions due to non-payment and proposing utility, engineering and platting solutions that would address the utility issues. While it is unfortunate that the track ownership has chosen not to host a 2023 season the City remains ready to provide assistance if and when the property owners determine their desired path forward.”

Monarch Motor Speedway promoter Shannon Kelton did not return our calls for comment.