This Saturday’s Bandit Big Rig Series race at Salem Speedway will be the first event under new owner, Bo LeMastus.
And the first time semi-trucks have raced on the famed oval track.
LeMastus, Chairman and CEO of Crosley Brands, has formed a partnership with Bill and Will Kimmel through which they have purchased Salem Speedway in
Salem, from previous owners Owen and Beverly Thompson.
“This was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made in my life,” said LeMastus.
“After the agreement was reached, my smile has only grown larger. Beverly and Owen have done a fantastic job of restoring Salem over these last 23 years. We intend to continue what they have started.”
LeMastus finished 15th in the Camping World Truck Series at Chicagoland last weekend, as heard on WSLM 97.9 FM, Louisville’s Exclusive NASCAR station.
“Our priority is the drivers, competitors and customers. That’s our focus. Will, Bill and myself, being racers, know that it all starts with putting together a program that works for the racers. Trust me, we’re going to take care of the racers.”
LeMastus’s day job is selling furniture and retro electronic equipment for the company he owns – Crosley Brands.
“On the other side of the coin would be our customers, our fans. We have to work extremely hard to please the fans. I want the spectators to feel like it’s the 1950s. One of our slogans at Crosley is “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” That slogan has never been more relevant than it is with this purchase.”
Salem Speedway began operating as a race track in 1947, just after the end of World War II.
We’ll reach back into the past and capture some things that worked well. We’re also going to look at what’s working well today and strive to be really, really relevant for tomorrow.”
The Thompsons have owned and operated the speedway since 1995.
“We’re absolutely delighted that Salem Speedway will continue on under new ownership,” said Owen Thompson. “We had the speedway for 23 years and worked hard to improve it. With Bo’s energy and enthusiasm, we know that the speedway will continue on, and become bigger and better than it already is.”
Under a newly-formed company, BWB Entertainment — a three-war partnership between LeMastus, Bill and Will Kimmel — Kimmel and Kimmel will handle promotions for the property located just west of town off highway 56.
The Kimmels have a long history at Salem and are well-known in stock car racing circles across the country.
“It’s exciting,” said Bill Kimmel. “I’ve been going to Salem since the early 60s. I just don’t want to see it go away. With Bo’s enthusiasm and people he has lined up, it’s going to give it a real shot in the arm…a positive for everybody. Bo is very open-minded, and that’s what it’s going to take to see Salem Speedway grow. You’re
going to have to think of other things to do other than racing to make it happen…create a ‘stadium’ so to speak. Salem always had a lot of followers. We just have to make sure we get them all back, and then some. It’s exciting. It’s going to take every one of us to make it go…work together as one unit”
According to LeMastus, Richard Deaton, who has been involved with the track for over 20 years, and his wife, Robin, will remain on board.
LeMastus also co-owns DGR-Crosley, a race team that fields entries for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the ARCA Racing Series, NASCAR K&N and more.
LeMastus also drives on the NASCAR Truck Series and ARCA Racing Series circuits as much as his busy schedule allows.
His business, Crosley Brands, fuels his other enterprises.
Today the Crosley name lives on with superbly detailed replicas that truly transcend time.
Reintroductions of original vintage radios and turntables feature the newest technologies graced by unforgettable Crosley stylings. The Crosley Collection includes AM/FM radios, styled record players and turntables, record changers, multi-functional audio cassette/compact disc players, jukeboxes, music boxes, telephones and more.
Rich lines, retro designs and authentic crafting have made Crosley today’s premier vintage electronics manufacturer. True to the Crosley tradition, these replicas are as fabulous as they are functional, providing a delightful dose of nostalgia.
“It’s what I do all week…gotta sell jukeboxes and radios to help make all these outside things go. We couldn’t be more excited about Salem Speedway and all the plans we’re putting together around that legendary facility. We understand how important that track has been to the racing industry and how important it is to, not only keep it alive, but make it bigger and better.”
The previously-scheduled events for Salem in 2018 will remain in place, including the July 14th Bandit Big Rig Series race.