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Sprint car and midget race tracks
Last update 19 August 2002 (culled dead links)
You might think all oval tracks are the same, but they're not!
There's a surprising variety of sizes, shapes, and surfaces, not to
mention spectator facilities.
In the US and Canada, the first place to look for track information
is the National Speedway Directory, published annually, and available at
most race track souvenir stands. What follows on this page are personal
observations about the tracks I've seen myself, and comments gleaned
from others, the kinds of information you won't find in the directories.
I've broadened the description of this page to include midgets,
Silver Crown cars, and related open wheel dirt track cars.
Want to add a track to this list? Disagree with my descriptions?
Tell me, and I'll update this page
pronto. Thanks to all who have contributed track descriptions; any
typos in the contributed text are mine, not theirs.
- Arizona sprint car fans will tell you that until you've seen
Lealand McSpadden rim-ride the high side of Phoenix's
Manzanita Speedway, you haven't seen a real sprint car race!
Nestled near the base of South Mountain at the corner of
Broadway and 35th, Manzy is a true "big" 1/2 mile clay oval,
perfect for those in need for a speed fix. Long the home of
the Western Nationals, considered at one time to be one of the
"Big Three" sprint car races each year (with the Knoxville
Nationals and Ascot Park's Pacific Coast Nationals), Manzanita
Speedway boasts a smooth, sticky surface perfect for the
non-winged SCRA sprinters that run there several times a year.
Even though the track is large, the seating and concessions
are cozy, and the people friendly and knowledgable. And if a
driver is brave enough to pitch a sprinter full throttle into
turn three, too much bravado could result in an untimely
meeting with the junkyard dogs who roam the wrecking yard
just over the turn three and four fence!
(Contributed by Steve Lafond)
The tracks of my home state now have their own page! Check out the
California Sprint Car Tracks
Indiana's many short tracks host some incredible racing! From the
legendary high-speed "hills" of Salem and Winchester, to the Indy
fairgrounds mile, to the tiny bullrings of Lawrenceburg and Lincoln
Park, there's something for every sprint car fan in Indiana.
- It only hosts one sprint car race a year... but what a race it is!
The faithful who attend Anderson Speedway's annual "Little 500,"
held the night before the Indy 500, say that once you've been there, you
can never spend the night before the big race anywhere else. It's a
simple formula for excitement: 33 non-winged sprinters starting 3
abreast, running 500 laps on the paved, banked 1/4 mile, adds up to
action from start to finish! And the weekly stock car racing will keep
you coming back for more!
- The 1/4 mile dirt of
has been the training ground for generation after generation of
Kinsers. Yep, those Kinsers! Frequent visits by touring WoO
winged and USAC non-winged sprinters keep the local heroes on their
toes, but the weekly sprint car action lets them hone their skills.
- The Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis is more than
just a horse track; it's a renowned mile oval, famous for USAC Silver
Crown races such as the Hoosier Hundred and past visits by the Outlaws.
The annual Hulman/Hoosier Hundred, held the Friday of Indy 500 weekend,
is a must for fans of traditional dirt oval racing. I recommend the
infield for serious race fans; not only is the ticket cheaper than a
grandstand seat, you can back your car up to the fence for an "up close
and personal" view of the action. But get there early for the best
- Indianapolis is justly famous as the racing capital of the USA.
But fans who come to Indy for the 500 without spending time at
Indianapolis Raceway Park are missing something special! The 5/8
mile paved oval is the home track of ESPN2's Saturday Night
Thunder series, and for good reason: Non-winged USAC sprints and
midgets put on one whale of a show! Don't miss the Night Before The 500
USAC midget/F2000 race if you're in town for the Indy 500. The adjacent
dragstrip is the host of the NHRA Nationals, drag racing's biggest and
most historic event held every Labor Day weekend.
- One of the best kept secrets in sprint car racing is the 1/4 mile
carved from Ohio River Valley mud and always tacky. This tiny track is
the very definition of a "bullring", so small that the cars never
actually go straight at any time! Lawrenceburg's location in the
southeastern corner of Indiana makes it the closest sprint car track to
Cincinnati, Ohio. Weekly Saturday night shows of non-winged sprints,
modifieds, and pro stocks, visits by the USAC and All Star sprint tours,
and a spot on the Indiana Sprint Week roster, make Lawrenceburg a
mandatory stop for any race fan.
- Another of the many fine sprint car tracks within an hour's drive
of Indy, Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville puts on weekly
non-winged sprint car shows on their 5/16 mile dirt oval.
Fans have been taking me to task for failing to mention the
most important track in the sprint car racing world. I have received
more mail about this one omission than any other topic. Well, you asked
for it... so here it is at last!
- It's the very definition of the American fairgrounds race track, in
the heart of Iowa farm country. It served as the training grounds for
legendary drivers like Doug Wolfgang and Danny Lasoski. It's the site
National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum.
And it's the home of "The Nationals", the biggest event in all of sprint
car racing. It's the
a wide, fast half-mile with distinctive tall steel guardrails that is
stop #1 on every sprint car fan's dream tour. Weekly races featuring
the local 360 sprinters, and frequent stops by every sprint car tour
within towing distance, just add to Knoxville's status as the hub of the
sprint car universe.
Ohio's location between the hotbeds of Indiana and Pennsylvania makes
it the crossroads of the sprint car world... and a hotbed in its own
All Star Circuit of
and drivers Jac Haudenschild and the Jacobs brothers, Kenny and Dean,
all hail from this great state.
And if you want great sprint car tracks, Ohio has them in spades!
- Attica Raceway Park is a 1/3 mile oval which hosts 410 and
305 sprinters and limited late models every Friday night during the
season. Attica is also a regular stop on the All Star tour, and one of
the host tracks of Ohio Speedweek. And don't miss the Brad Doty Classic
for All Star sprints and limited late models!
- Perhaps the best known of the Ohio tracks is Earl Baltes's
located near the Indiana border outside the town of Rossburg. A huge
bowl with big, sweeping high banked corners, Eldora plays host to the
Outlaws, USAC, the All Stars, and a host of other sanctions in sprints,
midgets, modifieds, stock cars, and motorcycles.
But in the sprint car world, Eldora is best known as the the world's
fastest 1/2 mile dirt track. 12 second qualifying laps by the Outlaw
stars back up that claim! And Eldora is the site of really big
races like the Kings Royal (the first $50,000 to win sprint car race),
The Historical Big One (the first $100,000 to win sprint car race), and
the USAC Four Crown Nationals. Few tracks can claim so much attention
in the sprint car world. Eldora definitely earns it!
- Located 4 miles west of Findlay,
Flag City Motorsports Park
is a 3/8 mile banked dirt oval racing sprints and stocks every Sunday
is a 3/8 mile high banked oval located 13 miles south of Chillicothe,
and regularly hosts sprint cars, late models, and modifieds on Saturday
Wayne County Speedway
hosts weekly 360 sprint and occasional All Star races on its 3/8 mile
If, like me, your idea of a proper sprint car venue is a big 1/2
mile oval, then you must tour the tracks of the Keystone State!
The Susquehanna Valley in the center of the state is home to several of
the best-known tracks in sprint car racing, and others are widely
scattered throughout the state.
In much of Pennsylvania, beer is not available at the track.
However, often you are free to bring in your own. Be sure to check
first with the tracks to avoid an embarrassing confrontation at
- Halfway between York and Gettysburg in Abbottstown, PA,
is a 3/8 mile high banked clay oval that puts on some superb racing.
410 Super Sprints are the headline attraction most Saturday nights.
Port Royal Speedway,
located in the town of the same name at the Juniata County Fairgrounds,
is another of the Keystone State's key 1/2 mile sprint car tracks, with
410 Super Sprints most Saturday nights, and occasional visits by the All
Stars and the KARS 358 sprints.
- The town of Selinsgrove, hard by the Susquehanna River in the
Allegheny Mountains, is the home of
A half-mile oval in the grand tradition, Selinsgrove was designed by
legendary stunt driver Joie Chitwood and built in 1945. Completely
renovated for 1998, Selinsgrove Speedway hosts 410 Super Sprints, late
models, and pro stocks most Sunday nights during racing season, and puts
on one whale of a show!
Williams Grove Speedway
is a legendary sprint car track, known throughout the US, with a
history of sprint car racing that dates back to 1939! "The Grove" is
notorious for its long straights and hairpin-like turns, and a surface
that often tends to be dusty. But who can argue with the racing that
goes on here? The Pennsylvania Posse always puts up a good fight when
the Outlaws come to town several times a year, and even when the
invaders aren't around, you can catch the Posse and the 358 sprints
honing their skills every Friday night. Don't miss the annual Williams
Grove National Open, held the last weekend of September or first weekend
Page layout and text copyright © 1994-2002
Unless otherwise stated, all photos this page are by
and are copyright © 1993-2002
Tear-Off Heaven Fotos.
full copyright notice for details.
Many thanks to the people who have suggested tracks for this
listing. Honest, I'll get them all in here some day...
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