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The Oak Tree at VIR Has Fallen

 
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Johnny Brooks



Joined: 04 Aug 2005
Posts: 321
Location: United States, Virginia, Arlington

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:16 pm    Post subject: The Oak Tree at VIR Has Fallen Reply with quote

Just got this email from VIR...

Alton, VA, July 2, 2013 – There is no easy way to say this – The Oak Tree is down. The iconic landmark that has come to symbolize VIRginia International Raceway has fallen, broken at the base.

“We are in shock and mourning,” said track owner Connie Nyholm. “We’re too busy right now trying to get the racetrack cleared of debris. We are grateful no one was at the corner station or on track when she fell and that there is no damage to the track surface. Tomorrow we’ll begin to get our arms around what this really means, but I can tell you that it means more than any of us want to think about today.”

The massive oak stood sentinel at the south end of the racetrack, looking out from the highest point on the property at the sprawling facility and its 3.27 miles of serpentine asphalt that has come to be regarded as the most challenging in North America, if not the world.

Its branches shaded the apex of the legendary Oak Tree Turn, looking down on the likes of Roger Penske, Walt Hansgen, Tom Kristensen and Richard Petty as well as a host of race drivers from the brilliant to the not so.

“I can tell you this,” Nyholm said, “The Oak Tree will live on in our minds and hearts, and we will give it an appropriate send-off. Please email your thoughts and suggestions to oaktree@VIRnow.com for proper ways to honor this old friend.”


Sad Sad Sad
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Sam Zavaglia



Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Posts: 1203
Location: Australia, Sydney,

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Truely a sad sight.
I have fond memories of this place and this corner thanks to the USKGP in 2007.


In it's glory.

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Martin Secrest



Joined: 23 Jul 2001
Posts: 1677
Location: United States, Virginia, Arlington

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It will be interesting to see what if anything is planted in its place. You sure can't grow an oak overnight.

Very sad indeed, but VIR is still a beautiful track.
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Dan Davis



Joined: 21 Jul 2002
Posts: 2204
Location: United States, Kansas, Wichita

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could probably transplant a small young oak tree.....call it "Acorn", Son of Oak. Sad to see the landmark go but you can't have life without death. I'm just happy that I had a chance to see it and drive around it once, VIR's grand course is my all time favorite.....Thanks Bernie!
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Debbie Kuntze



Joined: 19 Jul 2001
Posts: 2532
Location: United States, California, Vista

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crying or Very sad
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Robert Ross



Joined: 24 Jan 2007
Posts: 222

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too bad. Im assuming it was felled in a storm? I know I have seen some intense storms at VIR over the years.

Im happy I got to run that part of the track altho I never did figure out the fast way thru that corner.

RIP Oak Tree
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