Jan and Rick Wanzer, who have owned and operated Traxx Indoor Raceway for 24 years, sit in two of their karts outside the raceway in Mukilteo. Now, with young grandchildren and hobbies they wish spend more time focused on, the Wanzers are riding off into retirement. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Jan and Rick Wanzer, who have owned and operated Traxx Indoor Raceway for 24 years, sit in two of their karts outside the raceway in Mukilteo. Now, with young grandchildren and hobbies they wish spend more time focused on, the Wanzers are riding off into retirement. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Vroom! Traxx Indoor Raceway in Mukilteo is for sale

The race track running for 24 years needs a buyer and new site. The deal includes 32 karts, Corvette couches and more.

MUKILTEO — The other Mukilteo speedway is for sale.

After 24 years, the owners of Traxx Indoor Raceway are seeking a buyer for the go-kart entertainment complex.

“We are one of the longest-running tracks in the country and one of the first,” co-owner Jan Wanzer said.

The deal comes with the 32 go-karts, 66 helmets and all the trimmings for the quarter-mile track with 17 turns. The price is undisclosed and the new location is elsewhere.

Not included is the 36,000-square-foot leased warehouse at 4329 Chennault Beach Road, a block off the city’s main drag. The buyer will have to move the business to a different site.

Wanzer said a slightly smaller space should do the trick for the racing center with concessions, billiards and a climbing wall.

What else does it take?

“Someone younger to move the business and take it to the next step,” said Wanzer, 69.

Traxx is open over 100 hours a week, closed only on Christmas and Thanksgiving.

“Some weekends we would do 25 birthday parties,” Wanzer said. Not to mention team-building, bachelor and bachelorette parties.

Drivers pick out their helmets before hitting the track at Traxx Indoor Raceway. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Drivers pick out their helmets before hitting the track at Traxx Indoor Raceway. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

It’s predominantly male, she said.

“Only 20% of females get their ya-yas out of going fast,” she said. “There’s hardly a guy who doesn’t like it.”

There is a “Leading Ladies” record wall.

Charlee Carson, 10, of Snohomish, aims to be on it someday.

She said she likes “everything really” about karting. She has a kart at home that she takes to Evergreen Speedway in Monroe for practice. At Traxx, she uses a kid-sized kart.

Drivers as young as 6 can get behind the wheel solo at Traxx. The fleet of karts includes 18 for adults, 10 for kids and four super-fast “beast” karts.

The sales deal includes everything it takes to run the business. “All the decor, all the office things, four party rooms, cafe, timing systems, the Corvette couches and antique gas pumps,” Wanzer said.

Wait, what … Corvette couches?

“We bought all that stuff back before man caves were a thing and people weren’t scooping up that stuff,” she said.

A young driver receives instruction during a training session at Traxx Indoor Raceway. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

A young driver receives instruction during a training session at Traxx Indoor Raceway. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

The track was mandated to close twice during the pandemic.

“People came pouring back in. They were starved for something to do. Sales are higher this year than they’ve ever been,” Wanzer said. “It’s kind of a time out. It’s very intense. You have to focus on the 4 feet in front of you and that’s it.”

She credits loyal staff and customers.

“We have a huge database, 35,000 emails for customers,” she said.

The manager, Chris Kruse, has been with the company for 23 years. In 2018, he helped save the life of a customer having a cardiac arrest, delivering the first jolt with the defibrillator in the office before medics arrived. The defib comes with the sales package, but Kruse does not.

Wanzer hopes the business reopens in the county. There are indoor go-kart tracks in Redmond and Tukwila. The Blue Fox Drive-In in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island has an outdoor track.

A racer speeds through the track at Traxx Indoor Raceway. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

A racer speeds through the track at Traxx Indoor Raceway. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

She and her husband Rick never intended to open a race track. She ran gymnastics centers. He was an industrial designer for Precor exercise equipment.

The idea struck when they were on a vacation in Greece in 1998 without their three children, then 6, 10 and 16.

“We rented mopeds and were speeding around the island of Paros and we saw these flags at the top of the hill. It was an outdoor track and it had these really fast go-karts. My husband did it and he said, ‘Oh my gosh, if you would bring these go-karts to the United States people would go crazy,’” she said.

“The clincher was when we were in Amsterdam and we saw an ad for an indoor karting center. That was the serendipitous moment. We saw it and it just blew us away.”

A month or so after returning to Mukilteo, they went back to Europe to shop for timing systems and kart manufacturers.

“It was a whirlwind,” she said.

Chris Kruse, manager at Traxx Indoor Raceway, gives a safety rundown before visitors take a driving course. Kruse has been with the company for 23 years, working for the Wanzers since nearly the beginning. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Chris Kruse, manager at Traxx Indoor Raceway, gives a safety rundown before visitors take a driving course. Kruse has been with the company for 23 years, working for the Wanzers since nearly the beginning. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Traxx opened in December 1998.

Her husband designed the track.

“We used to change the track layout all the time for our regulars and then they hated it because they were working on their track time and it was a different track,” he said.

The clock is ticking.

“The final lap will be Oct. 30,” she said.

Serious buyers can inquire at jan@traxxracing.com.

Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterbrown.

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