TOPEKA (KSNT) – Social media rumors indicated Heartland Motorsports Park employees could be losing their jobs, but a park spokesperson is clearing up those rumors.
The owner of Heartland Motorsports Park announced his intent to sell the park earlier this week, leaving uncertainty for the park’s employees. However, Heartland’s track manager Travis Hilton said there’s still a chance many seasonal employees will be able to return next year.
“Obviously this year with an impending sale coming up, it’s hard to tell what that might look like,” Hilton said. “But we’re going to tackle this year as we’ve done every year running all the events with all the great staff that we have through the end of October and see what next year brings us.”
Hilton is one of Heartland’s four full-time workers, but he said there are hundreds who work event-to-event during the park’s operating season. With a potential new owner, seasonal employees could still have those opportunities like they do each year, but full-time workers might not.
Hilton said it all depends on who purchases the track and what their intentions are.
“It’s always a bit of concerning,” Hilton said. “But all we can do is keep our fingers crossed that the right team comes in here as well to continue to put on great events like we’ve had for the last five years that I’ve been here.”
Some seasonal workers, like road course manager Dwight Cowan, have been working off-and-on at the park for decades. Cowan has seen a few ownership changes at Heartland park already.
“It’s just an interruption,” Cowan said. “And it might not even be an interruption if we’re just off for the winter. And they’ve got a list of the workers and they usually call it back, so we’ve been through it before.”
He said employees will just have to wait and see what happens, but he cannot imagine the park going away.
“Most of us that work here for the road course stuff. We’re just old, retired people and it’s just our extra money. We enjoy it. We don’t do it for the money, we just do it because we enjoy being out here.”
Heartland Motorsports Park 2023 season runs through October.