UNITY — Unity Raceway is open for business.

Track owner Ralph Nason confirmed Thursday that he has struck a deal for a management contract with 25-year-old Unity driver Nick Huff, of Hampden, to hold “at least three” events this year.

“He’s going to be running the whole show,” the 74-year-old Nason said. “I told him he can come to me anytime he wants. I’ll give him as much guidance as he wants.”

Huff said Thursday afternoon that he and Nason agreed to split the profits 80/20, respectively, but also noted that this venture is not about the money.

“I don’t even want to make a buck, I just want to break even because I want to see the place open and racing. I just love it that much,” Huff said. “I just don’t want to go bankrupt doing it. I’m just looking to break even and supply people a place to race.”

Nason had been looking to lease the track since last November but could not find any serious suitors. The track was scheduled to have its first races of the season Fourth of July weekend as Nason looked for new management to take over operations, but were forced to postpone due to weather.

“(We) came to an agreement for not necessarily leasing the track as he had in the past,” Huff said. “He was leasing it for one big price and he (saw) that nobody (had) come up to the table so we came to an agreement about him taking 20 percent of the profits and me having a go at it.

“…Since we’re already halfway through the season I’d like to do at least three races and it’s very hard for me. I’m not a real rich business person per se. I don’t have a lot so I couldn’t do what he’d been offering in the past.”

Huff — who does have some experience in promotions in snowmobile racing — formally accepted Nason’s offer Tuesday after it was presented to him the Wednesday prior.

“I thought about it for a week and I got back to him,” Huff said. “Then we scheduled a meeting and I sat down with him for two or three hours face to face and we chit-chatted about what we would expect from each other.”

The two have known each other long enough where they had a pretty good idea going in of what to expect. Both Huff and his father had been racing at Unity for some time prior to its closing.

“I’ve always had a passion for the track and I’ve done volunteer work for the last three or four years,” Huff said. “I’ve run around like a chicken with my head cut off, running around, doing anything I could to volunteer. I raced there for four years, my dad raced there for at least five. There’s a lot of history and I grew up there.”

The 25-year-old driver turned track operator is hoping those racing connections will help to promote the events he hopes to hold this season.

“I’ve been around Unity and Bangor all my life for racing-wise,” Huff said. “I have a lot of connections and know pretty much every drive and have never burned any bridges with any of them for the most part. I’ve made friends with every racecar driver and I’m pretty sure they’ll come out to Unity if it’s not on a conflicting date of another track.”

When asked if he had any concerns about Huff running his track, Nason quickly dismissed the notion.

“Anytime he’s got a question all he has to do is call me,” he said. “Age I don’t think has anything to do it. He’s got enough experience and he’s run this whole snowmobile series. He’s pretty wise. What he’s going to do with classes and cars, it’s going to be a whole new beginning.”

It is a start that has not fully taken shape but has a general form. Nason said they are looking to take it “back to the bare basics,” and focus on making the events both fun and affordable.

Huff is already working on scheduling the track’s first race under his management.

“I don’t know when the date is, but it will be the Super Stock Challenge for enduro type racecars — a 250-lap feature with a big-money payout,” Huff said. “The amount has not yet been announced due to sponsorships.”

The new manager also said that the track’s signature race — the Long John — will also be held.

“The Long John is still definitely on for this year,” Huff said. “The Long John has been at the end of every season and I don’t want to break that tradition.”

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: Evan_Crawley


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