Mansfield cancels truck race, closes doors

Citing economic woes, Mansfield Motorsports Park canceled its scheduled Camping World Truck Series race in 2009 early Wednesday.

Later Wednesday evening, the track told the Mansfield News Journal its was closing its door.

"As of right now, we will not be staying open. We have no events planned," track owner Mike Dzurilla told the News Journal. "I dealt with the unfortunate task of telling my remaining employees that, by Christmas, they would be unemployed.

"Unfortunately, this has been in the works for quite some time. I tried to pull a rabbit out of the hat, but my last option ran out [Tuesday] night."

The Mansfield, Ohio, track played host to a truck race for the past five seasons. The event was scheduled for May 23.

Dzurilla said the economy forced his hand.

"This is a purely economic decision. We were unable to locate a title sponsor [for the truck race]," he told the News Journal. "With the economy the way it is, anybody with money right now is hanging onto it. It's business."

NASCAR announced that Iowa Speedway will now host a truck race on Sept. 5 to make up for the lost Mansfield race.

"It is always exciting to go to a new venue and show the fans what the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is all about," NASCAR vice president of racing operations Steve O'Donnell said in a statement.

Mansfield's decision comes on the same day that Chrysler announced that it will close all 30 of its manufacturing plants for at least a month to save on costs. Automakers did not receive a bailout from the government and face a serious cash flow crisis.

Chrysler pumps millions of dollars into Dodge racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.