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Local racing-simulator firm declares bankruptcy

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Indianapolis-based Interactive Motorsports and Entertainment Corp., which operates NASCAR race-simulator centers in shopping malls and other outlets nationwide, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Company officials in a Feb. 26 court filing said they intend to reorganize and emerge from bankruptcy in the coming months. In the filing, Interactive Motorsports and Entertainment Corp. listed assets of between $100,001 to $500,000 and liabilities of between $1 million and $10 million. The bankruptcy filing was made under the name Perfect Line Inc., Interactive's primary operating company.

Interactive Motorsports and Entertainment Corp. reported that it owes $732,452 to MOAC Mall Holdings, which runs Mall of America in Minneapolis, and $177,346 to Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, the nation’s largest mall operator. Those are its two biggest creditors. The company also owes American Express $155,000 in credit card debts.

In 2001, Interactive Motorsports and Entertainment Corp., then known as Perfect Line, made a splash locally when it bought the assets of Campbell, Calif.-based Silicon Entertainment Inc., which ran the NASCAR simulator-game operation before it declared bankruptcy.

A local group led by former Indianapolis Motor Speedway licensing and broadcast executive Bill Donaldson became convinced it could turn the company around by increasing marketing and growing the number of places the simulators were located.

Donaldson spearheaded an effort to take the company public in 2002 and the business morphed into Interactive Motorsports & Entertainment Corp. The firm used the capital from its public offering to expand into more shopping malls, amusement parks, cruise ships and other divergent outlets.

Donaldson, who is still listed as the company’s CEO, was not available for comment Tuesday morning.

According to Securities and Exchange Commission filings, the company has been struggling financially for a number of years.

For the year ended December 31, 2007, the last year for which complete financial information was available, the company lost $783,367 on revenue of $4.4 million. Accumulated debt was $10.15 million.

Interactive Motorsports shares, which trade on the Pink Sheets exchange, remained worthless Tuesday. They haven't haven't risen to more than 2 cents per share in the past year.

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