Krause Family Secure Operating Wall Stadium As Track Through Next Year; Future Unclear After 2020

Racing action at Wall Stadium in Wall, N.J. from May 18 (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

It’s been a busy 24 hours for Diane Krause, operator of Wall Stadium in Wall, N.J. 

On Wednesday a story in the Asbury Park Press of Asbury Park, N.J. reported that track ownership confirmed that the the historic race track would be closed down after the 2020 season to make way for a massive housing development project. 

The Krause family has operated the 69-year old Wall Stadium race track since 2011. 

Until his unexpected passing in January 2018, Diane Krause’s husband Cliff Krause led the family operation of the facility with his wife and daughter Emily Krause and son Andrew Krause, who competes part-time on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. 

Diane Krause said Thursday that her family has a contract to run Wall Stadium through the 2020 season. 

Diane Krause said the current track owners are trying to sell the property the track sits on to a developer. 

“There was a big town meeting and I think this article came out just to rile people up to get them to the town meeting,” Diane Krause told RaceDayCT Thursday. “The representatives of the building company were there and the town shot them down and told them they were not looking to rezone or build anything. The sale of this property was contingent on the proposal for building. So I haven’t heard anything from my landlords, but I do have a contract for 2020 and my family – my daughter Emily and I – will continue running the track.” 

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returned to Wall Stadium for the first time since 2007 on May 18. The series is expected to return to the track in 2020. 

The one-third mile Wall Stadium has been in operation since 1950. It’s the home track of many legendary names in NASCAR lore including Ray Evernham, 2017 Monster Energy Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. and the late John Blewett III and Jimmy Blewett of Modified racing fame.

The phones in the Wall Stadium office could be heard ringing without pause while Diane Krause spoke Thursday afternoon. 

“The media has been very frustrating,” Diane Krause said. “They’re constantly calling, e-mailing. They want interviews, they want to come on the property and interview the fans and get their opinions. They just don’t take no for an answer. There has been some supportive social media out there and some local media that has been very supportive of the track and that’s what just makes us keep going forward.” 

Wednesday’s Asbury Park Press story cited a press release from the Wall Stadium property ownership group – Wall Speedway Properties, LLC – stating the track would be closed to make way for a nearly 350 house development on the property. Atlanta based developer Pulte Home is the group looking to develop the property.

The Wall Stadium property is not currently zoned for housing development.

In a statement published by, Wall Township business administrator Jeff Bertrand emphasized that the property is currently not zoned for the type of development that was announced by ownership Wednesday.

“It is not surprising to the township the aggressiveness of the some of the developers that would like to build high density, market-rate housing under the guise of affordable housing in Wall Township,” read the statement from Bertrand. “This release appears to be the beginning of a challenge to our proposed plan.”

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  1. Looks like Wall Township is in support of having a race track on that property rather than a housing development. Maybe the track owners will negotiate a new contract, and keep the track open past 2020, which would be great.

  2. You have to read this. It’s a big fat can or worms that isn’t even a wisp of a kernel of doneness at this stage.

    Developers like Pulte Homes are licking their chops at a big pay day and the property owner has a kind of a white elephant that is going to need a lot of training to get it to jump through all the zoning hoops.
    Meanwhile as the land owner unloads it’s white elephant and the developer make piles of money the town get’s screwed with all those new kids to educate and services to provide.
    You betcha the town doesn’t want it. Instead of getting added taxes from a commercial development they get added taxes and way more costs.
    Racing may be fine for next year as well as “to infinity and beyond”.

  3. Well doug, I agree, but I also think this serves as a “fair notice” to anyone looking to save a race track. It would nice, if a “knight riding a white horse” as it were, could negotiate and and buy the venue to save it. I know, I know, local short track racing is not a money maker here in the Northeast. But you never know……….

  4. Ken Latham says

    I sure hope they come to an agreement here. Can not afford many more track closures

  5. Karl Linguess says

    If the tracks does unfortunately close. How many Racers and supporters would switch to Dirt ?

  6. The nearby drag strip closed suddenly too. That was a shocker.

  7. “The nearby drag strip closed suddenly too. That was a shocker.”

    Englishtown Raceway Park… The current owners, relatives of the founder, chose to lease the paved areas of the property to Copart for rebuildable wreck auctions, over what was essentially one weekend a year of income. There was also weekly muffled drags, but I doubt the track made much money.

    Oddly enough, Copart was a long time NHRA national sponsor, as well as sponsoring several high-dollar teams over the years, but they killed the biggest NHRA event in the Northeast. Copart made a similar deal with the owners of Concord Speedway this year, ending racing.

  8. The developer was not at the zoning board meeting and nothing was presented to the town concerning Redevelopment of wall Stadium property, so nothing was rejected. The meeting was about Walls commitment to affordable housing and yes Wall Stadium was brought up in the conversation because of the press release by the developer (that seemed to irritate the Township administrator) and the article from app. The area is Zone non-conforming and the track is grandfathered as long as they have one race a year. It seemed to me that the board has no intentions of changing the zoning. Wall Stadium encompass about 50 acres,23 of which cannot be developed because it is a safety zone designated by the FAA

  9. Englishtown is still there they just eliminated drag racing from their program.

  10. Fast Eddie says

    The Englishtown dragstrip closure makes no sense to me. I don’t believe it’s a housing issue, but there has always been a neighbor issue. That track held the original fourth yearly NHRA national event of what is now a 24 race season. The Napp family bent over backwards spending money to redirect noise away from the stupid rich neighbors who bought expensive houses nearby long after the dragstrip was in operation. I think the primary family members currently running the facility were the recipients of the first “junior dragsters”, made by their dads so they could race as kids. That is now a huge organization for 8-17 year olds to be able to drag race. There are still other events going on at the facility, just no drag racing. Last I knew, the parking lots were now a CarMax storage area. I’m sure CarMax is paying them well, but it’s a shame the family did not want to continue their fathers’ and grandfather’s legacy.

  11. Fred Pucylowski says

    Very hard to make money (compared to the actual land value) when the majority of your income is from one meet a year insufficiently subsidized by sparcely attended week night and weekend shows.

    As in many families, when a dedicated ownership dies the heirs see dollar signs not tradition and fan loyalty. Usually money wins out!

  12. Bill, those 23 acres that can’t be developed because of the FAA safety zone…what land is that compared to the location of the oval?

  13. “The area is Zone non-conforming and the track is grandfathered as long as they have one race a year”. This kind of sounds like what is going on with the Speedbowl? Yes/No?

    Shawn, not to change the subject and irritate anyone, are there any updates from the shore line oval regarding competition this year?


  14. John Strup says

    It would be a sad day if they did this to a great track like Wall stadium! A great disservice to the drivers and fans alike!
    Fight this in court and on all social media outlets. 😡

  15. If what Bill posted is true and accurate, there isn’t much that can be developed on the property due to zoning and the FFA safety zone, so it should be reasonably safe to stay as a racetrack. And by bringing all this up, it may have given the track operators some pretty good leverage. It’s not very high value, desirable property as residential use. It’s close to highways, an airport and in industrial area. Not typically where residential property is developed. Developers do stuff like this to gauge how much resistance there is, or how much it will take to get what they want from the town government. It’s Joisey. 💰💵💰💵💰💲💰💵💲💰💰💰💰💵💵💵💵💵💲💲💲💲💲💲💲💲💰💰💵💵💵💵💰💰💵💵💰💲

  16. Copart auctions salvaged cars. Those that can be rebuilt but mostly salvage parts cars. They auction undamaged cars as well from estates and those deemed not worth fixing with mechanical issues.
    According to the internets the drag strip at Raceway Park has been demolished. My question would be what events take place there if that is the case.
    Second generation race track owners do continue the family traditions when economic condition allow them to make money like Stafford and it is the best use for the property. Stafford becomes the new Woodbury/Southbury/Bethlehem of Eastern Ct and you may very well see Arute Realty selling condo’s at some point. Thompson has the best shot at long term survival because of location and a multi income stream business model.
    Racing shouldn’t need to be a charity. Were I lucky enough to be the heir to a track my inclination would be to continue it if it was a money maker. If not and demographics and property values skyrocket you’re darned right I’d be parking cars from Copart, Carmax or the devil if I could service the debt, pay the taxes and make money on it. Betcha you would too.

  17. John,

    The passion of all racers and race fans is honorable, but if the property owners don’t want it to be a race track, then it won’t be a track. That stands true whether they get their desired zoning changes or not. There’s no “fight this in court” to force the owner of a property to run or lease a business on their property that they don’t want operate.

  18. Seekonk fan says

    Bottom line racing is dying. The economy is booming yet car and fan counts at most northeast tracks is down ? Maybe if more new fans started going to the races ? Doubt that’s going to happen .Better get to the races before its to late!

  19. Doug I think the closest Arute Realty will get is maybe across the street, but not on track property, I think you or me might have a better chance

  20. Don’t agree racing is dying. It’s changing. Stafford is fine and Seekonk as well as far as I can tell. Up in New Hampshire people are investing in tracks making improvements and maybe Waterford as well although that’s a Pandora’s box not worth opening. Car counts up in the NWMT with a ton of new blood and Open races seems to be very popular. Young drivers across the board are so prevalent there’s almost criticism they are too young and too many of them.
    Betcha I could name a positive for every negative. It will never be 1965 again but it ain’t dead yet. Not even close.

  21. Another depressing story, about a possible demise of a short track.
    No Doug, it ain’t dead yet. But you have to admit, how much longer can it last, and how many new fans can the sport attract, if we keep losing venues? I don’t see anybody clamoring to build new local short tracks, given real estate value, and neighbor objections. Tough nut to crack. Like all race “nuts”, I’m a die hard fan. But the reality we all know, is, the almighty buck rules all. And local, short track racing, is not a “premier” venue in this day and age, for the average (young) Joe. No question, like you you stated, It’s changing. Everything changes. So, I can only do, what I can control, to somehow save what I (and I think countless others) love. And what I did, was drag my son, and his buddy, to Thompson when I could, as often as I could. To my surprise, it resulted in, hey Dad, when are we going to the races again? Yep, it’s extremely small, but it’s a start. They are hooked. It’s the only hope I see for the venues to thrive, before most all are lost. Change or not. It’s a terrific sport. But you gotta put butts in the stands for it to work. We just somehow need to get more youth involved. Tall order. Not sure how that can happen, but it has to. Cause in the end, all that counts is the gate. Or, its lost to (in the old days shopping malls) developments. Not doom and gloom, as I have personal optimism, but its going to need some help from us old diehards, for it to continue for future generations to come. I surely hope it does, and I hope Wall survives. For me, it was when we lost Norwood Arena. And I’m sure, countless others on this site, have had their “Norwood Arena” moment. Stay positive, and invite somebody to go to the races with you, next time you go. Thanks guys.

  22. New Facebook post by the Bowl/Serluca – slow progress being made …

  23. Were Racedayct to have existed in the last couple decades of last century I’m sure we’d be bemoaning the imminent death of circle track racing as we viewed the Long Island tracks close as well as Danbury RaceArena, Plainville Stadium,Westboro and twenty other tracks I can’t recall. And we’re still here going to the races.
    I’ll admit I may be living in a cocoon being near Stafford. At the last Open the crowd was robust, the paddock full, lots of younger people and kids playing here and there. Racing was great, the new Stafford monument to beer was doing a brisk business and the atmosphere festive. The previous two opens the weather was not ideal with annoying winds and cooler temps and the crowds were still above average. Somewhere race fields are suffering and the stands empty but it sure wasn’t at Stafford.
    I will however admit I have the least exposure to other tracks as just about anyone. As far as Stafford goes however they may just be having a banner year.
    Is losing tracks a death knell or survival of the fittest with racing concentrated in fewer but stronger facilities?

  24. Unfortunately Doug, you are somewhat living in a cocoon. You keep pitching the Stafford opens then you make excuses for them except for the last one. TTOMS is again the only true open series whether you want to admit it or not. Better car counts, better purses. You need to venture out and see what else exists out there in the sport of modified racing. Stafford is not the only game in town.

  25. My view Earl when a person defines what is the only true thing of anything it’s always what the person chooses to support and the person always has tunnel vision and is a bit insecure.
    I can’t be more clear about it and am making no excuses for anything. My view is Staffords Opens this year were all successful and we can look for more of the same next year. Not to be confused with the king of opens the TTOMS that I don’t attend because of distance but couldn’t admire more. You can believe one has to be the winner Earl, I believe both are winners as are the fans that attend them.
    No Earl I don’t have to venture out to do anything nor do I consider for one second the advice of self important knuckleheads like you that think it’s their place to tell other people how to enjoy the sport of short track racing. I don’t tell other people what to do and expect the same in return.

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