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South Boston News
Connie Nyholm with founder Harvey Siegel. / January 10, 2013
Harvey Siegel, the founder of the resurrected Virginia International Raceway, announced the passing of the baton to his business partner, Connie Nyholm.

Also, Kathy Stout has been named the new partner at VIR. Stout, along with her husband, are both accomplished VIPER racers with the NARRA Series, of which they are part owners. The Stouts also own Pittsburgh International Race Complex, 35 miles north of Pittsburgh, which encompasses a road course and karting facility.

Over the last 15 years Siegel and Nyholm have transformed the formerly abandoned racetrack into one of North America’s premier road courses and a motorsport resort.

Siegel rediscovered the abandoned VIR and viewed it as an opportunity to take his passion for sports car racing to a new level.

Through his vision, he redefined what a motorsport facility should be. Armed with the energy of Nyholm, a native Virginian, who returned to her roots to implement Siegel’s dream, the two worked together until the goal was accomplished.

Although Siegel is retiring from the operation and ownership of VIR, he will continue to be a club member, retain a residence at the track and continue to enjoy what has become a motorsport tradition at VIR.

“I am delighted to pass the baton to Connie, whose tireless efforts have helped make VIR the standard for all such facilities. Her energy and forward thinking complemented my own vision.

“I am proud to turn this amazing facility over to a worthy custodian who I am confident will move it into the 21st century,” Siegel said.

VIR has become a positive driving force for both the Halifax County/South Boston area, as well as the Southside Virginia region.

Two local business and tourism officials cited the positive influence of VIR and Siegel yesterday.

Nancy Pool, president of the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce, said, “Obviously, Harvey has been a part of VIR since the very beginning. He is the idea behind the concept. VIR has been great for Halifax County. It is a tremendous asset.

“Harvey’s absence will be felt. I wish the very best to Connie Nyholm and Kathy Stout and to the future operations of VIR,” said Pool.

Linda Shepperd, the executive director of the Halifax County Department of Tourism, said, “I know that, along with Connie, it was Harvey’s dream to bring VIR back to life.

“It had been sitting empty for so many years. His vision was to re-create VIR. He did that in partnership with Connie Nyholm. I think that vision certainly has benefitted Halifax County and is going to continue to benefit Halifax County.

Shepperd said of Siegel, “He knew his business. He knew what he was talking about when it came to motorsports and vintage cars and Gold Cup Racing. He certainly was an authority.”

Kerrigan Smith, director of track operations at VIR, said that Siegel will focus his attention on Camp Motorsports, now at its new location in Clover.

Nyholm now becomes the majority owner of VIR, with Siegel voluntarily relinquishing ownership at the facility. Stout is the new minority partner.

Smith characterized the transaction as “100 percent positive for all parties involved.”

Financial details were not released.

Smith added, “This is a very symbolic move for the next chapter in the forward progress of VIR.”

VIR’s 2013 season begins Feb. 9 with its first club weekend. The American Le Mans Series, is set for Oct. 5.

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"VIR has been great for Halifax County. It is a tremendous asset..."

"...I think that vision certainly has benefitted Halifax County and is going to continue to benefit Halifax County..."

Well, Mmes Pool & Shepperd, maybe for the county as a whole, but you can sure tell neither of you lives near the track. If you did, you might have a very different perspective on it. All it's done for me is increase traffic and noise in the area and jack up my real estate taxes, since the County seems to think VIR's presence automatically makes the southwestern corner of the county prime real estate.

But, since the track does generate much-needed jobs for this area, I accept it and move on.

The anti-uranium crowd could learn from the Delila community. We didn't necessarily want VIR either, but the PTB who DID want it overruled us. Strange- some of the same people who beat the drum loudest for VIR are leading the charge against uranium mining.

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