Punk Teens Caught Setting Fire to Mario Andretti’s Home Race Track Thanks to Snapchat

The two kids apparently used the flames to heat Jiffy Pop popcorn they had stolen from a local store.

News that Nazareth Speedway in Pennsylvania had caught fire due to a deliberate act of arson broke in late April, disheartening fans that grew up attending and watching races at the now-defunct complex which formerly hosted NASCAR and IndyCar competition. Not only was it a hot spot for stock car and open-wheel action during its 94 years of operation, but it was also the home track to one of racing’s first families—the Andrettis. Now, after a video of the act surfaced on Snapchat, a pair of teens have admitted to causing the damages to one of the Northeast’s most storied motorsport facilities.

One of the buildings on-site was the primary focus of the teens who, according to local outlet 69 News, caused a total of $15k in damages. No injuries were reported as the teens were the only people present at the time of the fire.

Nazareth Speedway has stood vacant for the better part of a decade as it awaits its fate under new owner Raceway Properties LLC.

Other members of the Andretti family, such as Mario’s son Michael and nephew John, also competed at Nazareth., Getty Images

Area news source Lehigh Valley Live alleges that the two teens—one aged 15 and another aged 14—used the fire to cook Jiffy Pop popcorn they had stolen from a nearby store. They reportedly also stole lighter fluid and a lighter, both of which were likely used to start the fire. 

While they may have thought they were clever to pull off such a stunt, Detective Sgt. Michael Melinsky explains they all but busted themselves by appearing in a Snapchat video depicting the fire, supposedly to brag to their friends of what they’d done.

The IndyStar recently visited Nazareth Speedway with Mario Andretti to recount his memories that started at the facility’s half-mile dirt track. This was after the fire which, sadly, only contributed to the grounds’ dilapidation that’s partly owed to man as well as nature. 

“Nazareth Speedway doesn’t exist. … I guess the gates are still there but it’s like an abandoned field,” Andretti’s longtime PR representative Patty Reid told the IndyStar.

h/t: Jalopnik