OK, let's see if I can answer some of your questions here...
I am not sure why they had to remove Laser Loop to install Steel Phantom, I have heard many rumors from; "it was sinking" ,"the foundation that the flywheel was on was bad and caused the flywheel to spin off balance" and "basically it was just too complicated for that park to keep operating" If anyone can fill me in on the correct reason the Laser Loop had to be removed I would love to hear about it.
The official reason was because all the other parks were getting multiloopers and megacoasters at the time. They did it for the sheer competition in the arms race.
The unofficial... That is there area where the original swimming pool was. When they closed the pool (because of mine subsidence), they just paved over it, made it the pay-lot, and "expanded" the park a little, with the Laser being the final addition at the time. The loop footers consistantly shifted while the ride was in motion, and you would witness this because the entrance to the park at that time was under the loop. They put wood fence around the footers, but if you looked over the fence and waited for the train to go through the loop, you could plainly see the outer footers of the loop move, causing mini-sink-holes around them. I would say they moved a good 6 inches in each direction, so a big concrete footer moving a foot total doesn't loop pretty. Not really sure this was the "reason" behind the removal, but i'm sure it helped. As we all know, the ride was in good working order, and was relocated.
I believe the year the Laser Loop opened the track was left primer red and later painted black.
It was actually the other way around. It opened with black track, and was later painted primer red. They never did paint the inside of the loop, but the rails became red.
Here's some aditional photos, not sure if I submitted these to TPR's little database, so if these are repeats, I appologize.