NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – The owner of the Callahan Speedway contacted the News4JAX I-TEAM, saying he may soon have an option for drivers who have been speeding through the streets and parking lots of Jacksonville.
Callahan Speedway, sits along rural U.S. 1, north of Callahan. It is a dirt track right now that caters to riders of things like RC (radio control) cars and go-carts.
Owner David Hicken says he’s watched the unfolding chaos on Jacksonville streets with respect to street racing and has laid out plans to build a drag strip for these “wannabe” racers to come to.
“A drag strip is always something I wanted to do,” Hicken said. “And so I went to the county and had a lot of people that wanted it also. A lot of it were the street racers and the drag racers.”
Hicken says he’s in the process of revising his plans right now and expects to get full approval from the Nassau County Commission -- expecting to build and complete the track this year.
“I got the approval and finalized my engineer drawings here within the next week,” Hicken said. “They get presented to the county. They give the approval they might change a few things, then it’s time to bust dirt and cut down trees.”
In our I-TEAM investigation ‘Jax-N-Furious’ racers expressed concerns about nearby neighborhoods complaining about the noise. That was the case with the closure of Jax Raceways on Pecan Park Road back in 2005. Hicken says he plans to install sound walls to cut down on noise, and points out the closest home is around 2,000 feet away.
“The county put two things on me. Vehicles have to exhaust under the vehicle and they’re required to run some type of muffler,” Hicken said. “They make all kinds of mufflers. It is required to have a muffler so that’s my restriction.”
Hicken tells me he’s heard considerable interest from the Jacksonville car community for him to build a track north of Callahan. Drivers may be looking for options like that soon with JSO stepping up patrols on these types of drivers and a bill passed in the legislature to increase penalties on drivers breaking the law.