ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – The Escanaba Speedway is denying allegations that one of its young racers was cursed and screamed at by a Speedway board member.
The family of Aubrianna Mathieson says the nine-year-old was verbally assaulted by a track worker during a practice, after her car stalled on the track.
In an official statement (included in full at the end of this article) released on Friday, June 23, the Speedway says those claims are “totally untrue.” Aubrianna’s mother Heather also claims the worker grabbed the car her daughter was in and started yanking it. The Speedway says touching a stalled car is in accordance with track procedures. The statement reads, “The standard track practice is to assist stalled or inoperable cars to get them out of harms way and to limit interference with the race. Basically, that involves turning them around so they are heading off the track.”
The Mathiesons say Speedway President offered to apologize to Aubrianna. However, the Speedway says that apology is not an admission that the board member swore at her. The letter states the board has only apologized for the fact that the Speedway was “unable to prevent the daughter from being subjected to an upsetting situation created entirely by her father, which was no fault of the daughter or the Speedway.”
At the first race of the season, the Speedway’s statement says the Mathiesons “became upset” that the board member in question was working at Corner Four of the track, which is Aubrianna’s regular corner, according to Heather. She says the president had told her that worker would be stationed at a different corner.
Aubrianna’s father, Eric, confronted the president, which Heather says he was told to do by a track worker. She says Eric expressed his disappointment that the board did not keep its word.
However, the Speedway’s statement says Eric approached the crow’s nest “pointing his finger and yelling foul language.” It says Eric then went into the crow’s nest where the president was, which the board says is a violation of track policy. The Speedway says Eric “continued to verbally assault the president and the board.”
Days later, the board suspended Eric from the track for a year due to “unsportsmanlike conduct.” They also cited past instances of alleged misconduct. The Speedway maintains that Aubrianna is still welcome to race, despite her father’s suspension. Aubrianna’s family continues to seek a resolution, as they say she cannot race without the help of her father.
WZMQ 19 reached out to the Escanaba Speedway president for comment, but he did not respond as of the time of this post.
Heather Mathieson says the track gave its official statement “without once contacting us since the suspension. We wanted an apology for Aubs and for them to follow through with their resolution.”