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Prince George drag strip owners settle dispute out of court

BC Supreme Court petition filed last April claimed Nitro Motorsports Park owner Brent Marshall conducted logging without consent of the ownership group
Racers make their way down the track at NITRO Motorsports Park during the Big Bux Shootout.

A dispute over what was deemed unsanctioned logging at NITRO Motorsports Park drag racing strip has been settled out of court.

A petition filed April 13, 2023 at B.C. Supreme Court by three of the facility's shareholders claimed the fourth shareholder, Brent Marshall, hired a contractor to remove all merchantable timber from the site off Chief Lake Road northwest of the city "without unanimous consent of the directors."

But in a statement obtained by the Citizen, signed by Marshall and the other drag strip owners, John Paolucci, Douglas Shaw and Rodney Belsham, the parties have come to an agreement which solidifies the future of the facility for participants in the region’s motorsports community.

“We, the directors and owners of Prince George Motorsports Park Ltd., are pleased to confirm the resolution of the dispute among us,” the statement reads. “We acknowledge there were a number of miscommunications among ourselves and, unfortunately, we made some statements about each other which we now regret. Each of us was acting in what we understood to be the best interests of the racetrack and the community. We consider the dispute among us fully and amicably resolved.”

NITRO Motorsports Park is used primarily during the warm-weather months for sanctioned drag racing events and for the Friday Night Drags, a regularly-scheduled event in which street-legal vehicle owners test their drag racing skills in a safe controlled setting.

“All of us remain committed to the Prince George motorsports community and have agreed that the Company will donate $150,000 to the Northern Interior Timed Racing Organization Society to be used for upgrades and repairs at the racetrack,” state the owners.

“The ownership group is also taking further steps ensure the racetrack is protected indefinitely for the future enjoyment of racers, spectators, and the wider community.”

The logging work was conducted in the fall months of 2022 and 2023 and, according to the petition, the timber was sold to Canfor with Marshall retaining the proceeds.

Marshall had intended to use the earnings to help fund the buyout of one of the shareholders, according to the petition.

The petition mentioned the logging removed trees that bordered the length of the drag strip and the site was extensively disturbed, leaving slash and other forest debris which impacted the esthetic value of the facility.

There was no mention in the settlement about whether that area will be cleaned up and who would pay for land rehabilitation if that occurs.

- with Citizen files from Mark Nielsen