Thursday, July 16, 2009

Who can remember these tracks from the past?

Apple Creek Speedway – Appleton, Wis. (Located across the street from Gordy’s Outagamie Speedway)

Collins Field – Lemars, Iowa (Track was dedicated to Emory Collins/Closed in 1973)

Rolla Speedway – Rolla, Mo. (Tom Maier won the last race there, the “USA 300” in June of ’74. Drivers never got paid as promoter ran off with the purse)

Midwest Speedway – Lincoln, Neb. Lloyd Beckman was the first winner there/ Site is now a Wal-Mart)

Decatur County Speedway – Decatur, Iowa (Open for only 10 years/ 7 cars showed up for first night)

North Starr Motor Speedway – New Brighton, Minn. – (Original name was Twin city Speedway/Frank Winkley was an occasional promoter there)

Santa Fe Speedway – Hinsdale, Ill. (Dick Rathman, driving a Hudson, won a NASCAR Grand National race there on July 10, 1954)

Weetown Outlaw Speedway – Fergus Falls, Minn. (The track was under water from 1987 to 1989/Closed in 1995)

CeMar Acres – Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Also known as the Cedar Rapids Speed Bowl/Closed in 1954)

Sterling Speedbowl – Sterling, Ill. (Closed in 1969)

Raceway Park – Blue Island, Ill. (Bud Koehler won over 490 features events in his career there/Site is now a super market)

Playland Park – Council Bluffs, Iowa (Tiny Lund got his start there/Bill Amick won a NASCAR Grand National race there on August 6, 1956)

Soo Speedway – Sioux Falls, S.D. (Paul Stogsdill won the first race/Dick Sutcliffe won the last)

Tunis Speedway – Waterloo, Iowa (First called Cordes Speedway)

Greenbelt Speedway – Eldora, Iowa (Also known as Harconia Speedway)

Midway Downs – Charles City, Iowa (Torn down in 1979/Also known as Harvey’s Bowl)

Newton Speedway – Newton, Iowa (Site is now a little league ball park)

I-29 Speedway – Sidney, Iowa (Usually referred as Nebraska City, Neb., even though the track was located in Iowa)

54 Speedway – Yates Center, Kan. (Also known as Badlands Raceway)

Waukegan Speedway – Waukegan, Ill. (Ted Musgrave started his career there)

Cannon River Speedway – Morristown, Minn. (Closed in 1980)

Leo’s Speedway – Oshkosh, Wis. (Alan Kulwicki started his career there)

Sportsman Speedway – Marshall, Mo. (Danny Lasoski started his career there)

Ottumwa Aces Speedway – Ottumwa, Iowa (Located west of town on Highway 34 in area known as Monkey Mountain)

Sportsbowl – Dubuque, Iowa (1953 – 1965/Site is now a city dump)

Wright County Speedway – Belmond, Iowa (The track was under water when the Iowa River flooded in 1993)

CeJay Stadium – Wichita, Kan. (Bill Mears, father of Rick Mears, was a jalopy champion there in 1950’s/Site is now Cessna Aircraft)

Mid-State Raceway – Mt. Olive, Ill. (Formerly a motorcycle track/first auto race didn’t take place until 1985/closed in 1989)

Sikeston International Raceway – Sikeston, Mo. (A fist fight broke out between the promoter and the drivers at the very last race on July 18, 1987)

Sunset Speedway – Omaha, Neb. (Built by August & Albert Haden/Joe Kosiski won last race)


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. My Dad, Harold Petree #39, raced at Soo Speedway back in the 50's. The cement wall is still there. I took a photo of it a few months ago. Dad passed away April 19 of this year. It's been nice to go to web sites like this and see the racing fans.
    Julie Petree/Murney

  3. On the south side of Washington Street in Waukegan, west of Green Bay Road, you can still see the shattered Blatz Beer sign and its metal pole where the entrance road was to the Waukegan Speedway. I remember well the demolition derby on Friday night!


  4. I cherish the memories of the 100 mile (one way) trips with my Dad to Sterling Speedbowl Park located on the West side of Sterling, IL. I was 11-14 years old at the time, and remember Darrell Dake, Bill McDonough, Big John Connelly, Donnie Bohlander, Verlin Eaker, Johnny Beauchamp, Benny Hofer, Jim Strube and many more that I don't remember. Tough competition on a great track which was probably as good a place to watch a race as I've ever been to. Can't believe it has been closed for 40 years! Wow!!

  5. Hi,
    You have the following listed: I-29 Speedway – Sidney, Neb. (Usually referred as Nebraska City, Neb., even though the track was located in Iowa)

    I think this should read as Sidney, Ia as Sidney, Ne isn't close to I-29. I was very little at the time, but I went a couple of times to a dirt track just outside of Nebraska City in the late 1960's perhaps early 1970's. I somewhat recall the track was run by the Whitehills. I know my Dad won at least one race at this facility. After it closed probably in the mid-70's..I remember driving through that area periodically and seeing grass/weeds over take the area where the track was laid and a sign that reflected Whitehill Oil or Whitehead Oil.

  6. I also remember Speedbowl Park at Sterling. Don Bohlander was my favorite driver. The concession stand served BBQ sandwiches made of God-knows-what, but they sure were hot, juicy, and real good - and you could get one for .45 cents. I was fascinated by the PA announcer, Paul Libbe, who was really good at what he did. Years later, I became a PA announcer too, beginning at Jackson County Speedway in Maquoketa, Iowa. I used much of what I learned by listening to Libbe for all those years.

    I was there the night that a wheel came off Hank Euliche's #8 car, and went into the crowd, killing a young man from Morrison. It just barely missed hitting me. I think things went downhill for Speedbowl Park after that night. It was a "short track" that had been made out of a longer one. On Sunday afternoons, if the weather was fair, and I began pleading around 1 p.m., my parents would take us kids to the track. Loved it. Hated to see it close, which it did two years after I got my driver's license. Drat!

  7. I remember watching coupes race at Otagamie with my dad in the mid '60's. It was a 1/4 mile paved track, near where Plaman Park is today. There's a road nearby named "Speedway Road".

  8. How about 65 speedway north of Branson, MO. where Ozark Shooters is now, anyone have pictures?

  9. I remember so many fond memories of Outagamie Speedway in Appleton , Wi. going there with my dad and older brother that I am collecting ideas , photos and put them to paper to share with others , hopefully soon.

  10. Sterling IL Speedbowl has a sign saying it is reopening. Anyone have any information on who or when it is opening?

  11. I have seen the sign, made me smile and
    some memories flooded my mind.-
    Curtis Chamness

  12. Grew up going to Speedbowl Park in Sterling, Ill. Hope it does re-open. I used to remember cars parked all along Rt. 2 and all the way north to Douglas Park. I was there the night a tire flew off and injured someone badly.
    (maybe worse)

  13. My dad, Bob Willey, car owner of the USAC Midget #74 raced at Santa Fe Speedway many times in the late 1960's. Remember is fondly. Those were the good old days, let me tell ya. I think we have some action shots of his car racing there. If I can find them, I'll post them.

  14. I have found memories of watching the races at Speedbowl Park in Sterling, IL. My dad raced stockcars and we would get to stay up late and cheer him on. Just recently I noticed some activity in the area that was the tracks. It appears that the cornfield it became has been surrendered and a new racetrack is coming to town. Granted, it won't be the stockcars of the 60's, but it did bring back the memories.

    Here is the newspaper announcement about the reopening:

  15. I raced at Midwest Speedway, Sunset Speedway, Whitehead Speedway (just across the Missouri river from Nebraska City), and Playland Park during what I would call the golden age of open wheel racing. I was just barely 18 the first year I raced at Playland in 1958, and lied about my age (you were supposed to be 21). I missed one race that year because of my senior high graduation events in Grand Island, NE.

    Whitehead Speedway was a very fast 1/2 mile track that we run our mostly homebuilt supermodifieds at for a brief time in the late 60s. Had a chunk of mud thrown up by a car in front of me which hit me square in the nose. I finished the race with blood everywhere. Lol

    I only raced once at Sunset. That was in the late 50s for a special open rule race in October of that year. It was so cold we had parka hood coats on and it was snowing.

    I raced a few times at Midwest Speedway in the early '70s when they invited our Central Nebraska Modifieds to come and race. I won a speed dash there one night.

    Lynn Grabill

  16. Would love to know if anyone has movie clips (converted to CD's) of races from Soo Speedway datedearly 1950's. I am looking for Stogsdill brothers in action -- Cars #01 and #02. Respond to LLLmorse@yahoo.com

  17. My Dad is Harold Grimes...Owner and builder of the Orange #12...Sponsored by Furlans Dougout...Any old pic's or memoribila would be deeply appricated...Thank you- Tony Grimes...My E-Mail...grimeseric1@yahoo.com

    1. The drugstore I worked at in the early '70's, Island Lake Walgreens, was also a sponsor of his car. I've still got my orange & black jacket packed away somewhere, along with probably a few photos. I'd made up posters to hang in the store, too. Was a very sad day to hear what happened to him. Haven't found any newspaper accounts

  18. Waukegan Speedway trying to find a picture of my dad's race car he race there in the late 60's car number 37 was a red 57 chevy remember seeing a pict of it when I was 5 my pop's name is kenneth dalton

  19. Is the Midway Downs/ Harvey's Bowl Charles City, Ia. the same as the Churchill Bowl that was just off main street in 1953?

    1. Midway Downs was located between charles city, ia and nashua, ia.
      churchill Bowl was located just north of the charles city limits.My uncle was killed at the churchill Bowl in a rollover in August 1953.

    2. Midway downs was a separate entity. Churchill Bowl was located just north of the city limits of charles city on the west side of the road. Midway downs was between charles city and nashua, ia.Years before the Ross Harvey had the track in charles city and had horse races

  20. Paul Stogsdill also won the first features at Huset's Speedway, Casino Speedway in Watertown, SD and the long gone Wildcat Speedway in Corsica, South Dakota. The man raced on and off from 1950 to 1990, winning features at 2 different tracks in 1989 at the age of 63.

  21. I Have many memories of Twin City Speedway in (New Brighton, MN it was called then) Minnesota. Later named Norht Starr International Speedway. Our Family spent a lot of Sunday afternoons and far too many evenings in the late fifty's and early sixties there cheering on my dad, Joe Dolphy who for a few of those years raced both Hobby Stocks and Late Models. In 1958 he won the Season Championship in Hobby Stock and Second in the Late Models. According to my dad, at the time, the track owner/promoter Don Voge knew that Joe had enough points to win the Late model championship over Dick Pellow of Minneapolis, but didn't believe that one person should win both classes. Paul Dolphy Mounds View MN

  22. I have a lot of memories of Twin City Speedway in New Brighton, MN. Later Named North Starr International Speedway. My mom and us 5 kids sat in the grandstands most every Summer race night and Sunday afternoons in the late 50's and early 60's Cheering on our dad Joe Dolphy.

  23. Also, sadly Lake Geneva Speedway gone forever. Used to love the Beat Your Neighbor special races. Alot of people rearranged their family car. Dale Schaul

  24. The days of good old dirt track racing are long gone too much money to build fast cars it used to be anyone could build a dirt track jalopy and have fun, including the spectators time marches on

  25. As a kid, I went to Nashua, Iowa to the races......any info. on the years it existed and why it shut down? types of cars? I remember my mom always wanted #45 Charlie ? to win...............Thanks