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Closed Texas and Southwest Asphalt Tracks


txtom

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Historical Record - Closed Texas and Southwest asphalt tracks

 

Recalling to most recent, the closing of San Antonio Speedway four years ago on Wednesday, March 28, 2007, TexTom and NeilTPS have combined their records and racing knowledge to develop the following asphalt track closure list.

 

If other readers of this topic recall any asphalt tracks we missed, please add to this thread

 

Thanks –Tex-Tom and NeilTPS

 

 

Closed Texas and Southwest asphalt tracks:

 

San Antonio Speedway

 

Longhorn Speedway (aka Austin Speed-O-Rama)

 

Twin Cities Speedway – Odessa

 

Texas World Speedway (for short track car spectator events)

 

Sooner International Speedway, Altus, Oklahoma

 

Pan American Speedway (Austin Highway) – San Antonio 1956 to 1964. Ran as Mercury Speedway in 1965

 

Pan American Speedway (Toepperwein Road) - San Antonio 1965 to 1978

 

Meyer Speedway, Houston

 

Lubbock Speedway

 

Abilene Speedway (ran 1963 to 1980, 1/4 mile)

 

Playland Park, Houston (1957 to 1960, 1/4 mile)

 

Arrowhead Park Speedway, Houston (1947 to 1954, 1/4 mile)

 

Channelview Speedway (ran a very short time in early 1952 as an asphalt track 1/4 mile)

 

Salvage Speedway, Dallas, 1/4 mile.

 

Southwest Speedway, Amarillo, (Located North of the airport, held 2 qualifying races for the 1977 TROC)

 

Amarillo Modified Midget Speedway, Amarillo (1/8 mile track was paved from 1963 to 1980, located North of the Airport)

 

Odessa Speed bowl, Odessa (1959 to 1986, was the first Twin Cities Speedway located about 6 miles west of the new Twin Cities, 1/4 mile)

 

Raceway Park, San Angelo (ran about 1956 to 1975. May have also been known as Three Rivers Raceway)

 

Arnold Speedway, Waco (ran 1951-1952 as asphalt, 3/8ths mile)

 

Spillway Speedway, San Antonio (ran about 1947 to 1950)

 

 

Compiled by:

 

Thomas "Tex-Tom" Taylor (Racing Historian and Frequent Contributor to www.LoneStarSpeedZone.com)

 

Neil Upchurch (Founder and Retired Former Driver, Race & Administrative Director, TPS & TIDA-LM)

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I have a correction on the Channelview track, it was a dirt track not asphalt. I know

someone who grew up with the track owners two son's and he told me years ago that

they would work the track during the week. There was a track called North Houston

Speedway that was built as an asphalt track that only ran for a season or two in the

fifties. It is located on what is now Bush Intercontinental Airport property. Others on

here will add info to this thread that know way more than me.

 

thanks; Byron

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Playland Park Spdwy/Houston did begin as a dirt track, but i'm thinking it was paved at least by 1955. But, the news seems to get worse, just outside of Texas the Baton Rouge Spdwy near Prairieville, LA, was at least a 1/2 mile and fast, and was operating in the '70s for sure but has been gone awhile. And, I believe the Monroe Motor Spdwy, a 3/8 mile concrete track near West Monroe, LA is now closed. It is just down I-20 a little ways from the long gone 1/2 mile paved Jackson Motor Spdwy near Clinton, MS. :(

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I have a correction on the Channelview track, it was a dirt track not asphalt

I am still trying to clarify that one; it was dirt almost all it's life, but I have two different references that state it was paved for a very short time in early '52; maybe only a couple race nights. But I will keep looking.

 

There was a track called North Houston Speedway that was built as an asphalt track that only ran for a season or two in the fifties.

I remember several of ya'll referring to that track, but I didn't recall if ya'll said it was paved. I will add it to the list tonight.

 

PAS opened in 1946

Correct, the PAS on Austin highway opened as a dirt track, but was paved in 1956.

 

There are several tracks on that list that started as dirt tracks; Playland, Arrowhead, Pan Am #1, etc.

Several more are now dirt tracks; Abilene is one of them, Lubbock another.

 

And I am compiling a listing of tracks in states that border Texas; i will get with Neil to see what he has there, and we'll get that up here.

 

I looked at the Texas dirt tracks; not sure if I have enough time left on the planet to do that one......... Maybe a condensed version......

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Tex-Tom: You posted the following on which I will add comments:

 

“I am compiling a listing of tracks in states that border Texas. I will get with Neil to see what he has there, and we'll get that up here”.

 

I pulled up all my personal memory regarding border states. Sooner International Raceway in Altus, Oklahoma was the only closed asphalt track upon which I have firsthand knowledge. SIR’s final closing was not due to the usual reasons ie: mismanagement, poor gate sales, low car count etc. The adjoining Altus Airport needed more end-of-runway space to comply with FAA regulations and bought SIR to comply.

 

Tom: You also posted, “I looked at the Texas dirt tracks. Not sure if I have enough time left on the planet to do that one......... Maybe a condensed version”.

 

Suggestion to Tom: We should pass this closed dirt track list topic over to our resident dirt track specialist “RebelRaceWriter”. JM Hallas can handle the list post without even breaking a sweat.

 

Comment: The size of Closed Texas and Southwest asphalt tracks list is disturbing isn’t it? Is asphalt racing following the extinction path of outdoor Drive Inn Movies?

 

Thanks to all who provided or will provide correct input (without callingTom and me “puppy breath”).

 

Neil Upchurch

Founder and Retired Former Driver, Race & Administrative Director, Texas Pro Sedans, TIDA-LM & TROC @ TWS

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Don't worry Neil, as more and more paved "local" speedways close down, the dirt tracks will follow. As the saying goes, "dirt tracks are more forgiving". But, to me that does not apply strictly to the racing itself. And, something tells me Neil Upchurch understands exactly what I am trying to say. The more slices in a pie, means smaller slices. So, without more pie, there will be less and less. ;)

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Playland Park Spdwy/Houston did begin as a dirt track, but i'm thinking it was paved at least by 1955. But, the news seems to get worse, just outside of Texas the Baton Rouge Spdwy near Prairieville, LA, was at least a 1/2 mile and fast, and was operating in the '70s for sure but has been gone awhile. And, I believe the Monroe Motor Spdwy, a 3/8 mile concrete track near West Monroe, LA is now closed. It is just down I-20 a little ways from the long gone 1/2 mile paved Jackson Motor Spdwy near Clinton, MS. :(

I can't believe I failed to recall the Louisiana Fairgrounds/Shreveport paved 1/2 mile speedway, just barely out of Texas. A dirt track as late as '64, but paved at least by '72. Not sure when the facility was deconstructed. :(

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I can't believe I failed to recall the Louisiana Fairgrounds/Shreveport paved 1/2 mile speedway, just barely out of Texas

That track had been around as early as 1910 in various configurations; it was paved in 1968 and ran it's last race in 1980.

I went by it in 1985 while attending a school there; and they were in the process of tearing out the corner asphalt. The pit area was intact, as it became part of the big parking lot that it is now. The grandstands were left for about 3 to 5 more years. Living in Fort Worth, and travelling by it several times on the way to the southeast for All Pro racing, I would look over at the remains. As late as 1999, there was a small area of the frontstretch asphalt in place.

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OK Mike McCain - aka – HiTech (formerly “Oldtimer”), even though this thread was supposed to be a Texas/Southwest closed asphalt tracks article and since you changed the subject, following is the short list of currently surviving Texas/Southwest asphalt tracks, in the order of their seniority:

 

1. CC Speedway, Corpus Christi

2. Altus Speedway, Oklahoma

3. Red River Speedway, Wichita Falls

4. Houston Motorsports Park

5. Thunderhill Raceway, Kyle

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Thanks to all who provided or will provide correct input (without callingTom and me “puppy breath”).

 

Neil Upchurch

Founder and Retired Former Driver, Race & Administrative Director, Texas Pro Sedans, TIDA-LM & TROC @ TWS

Take a break Neil in this instance "PUPPY BREATH" was a term of endearment not an insult, it was not directed toward you just my friend Tom

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HaHa...Mike got put in "Timeout" by Neil.lol

...nah no time out here ..just asked the wrong question .on the wrong thread ..neil could have just pointed that out and not answer the question .or give me a big intro. but seeing he answered it ..thanks neil .....

 

 

BUT I WILL SAY IM SORRY TO TOM ..

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OK Mike McCain - aka – HiTech (formerly “Oldtimer”), even though this thread was supposed to be a Texas/Southwest closed asphalt tracks article and since you changed the subject, following is the short list of currently surviving Texas/Southwest asphalt tracks, in the order of their seniority:

 

1. CC Speedway, Corpus Christi

2. Altus Speedway, Oklahoma

3. Red River Speedway, Wichita Falls

4. Houston Motorsports Park

5. Thunderhill Raceway, Kyle

Have these speedway operators, and racers, gotten together to have a common championship series?

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Have these speedway operators, and racers, gotten together to have a common championship series?

THR and HMP have since they both run the NASCAR Trucks and NASCAR Modifieds in common.

 

Nick

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BUT I WILL SAY IM SORRY TO TOM

 

For What?

 

Nothing has been said here that needs to be addressed.

Hrodder is an old friend who is having a little fun, and it looks like Neil had a little fun with you about hijacking the thread.

 

No issues or worries here, now let's get back to talking about asphalt race tracks.....

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Have these speedway operators, and racers, gotten together to have a common championship series?

THR and HMP have since they both run the NASCAR Trucks and NASCAR Modifieds in common.

 

Nick

So you're saying there is a South Texas NASCAR Truck Championship Series, and a South Texas NASCAR Modified Championship Series? I wasn't aware. My point is the added prestige for a regional championship series would be beneficial to the racers and fans, in my opinion. <_<

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Well, I am not a spokesperson for either THR or HMP, but that is my understanding. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

 

There have been several attempts over the years to work towards common rules accross the Texas asphalt tracks. For a wide variety of reasons those attempts have not resulted in common rules across all tracks.

 

A few years ago I formed the Texas Track Owners and Promoters Association (TTOPPA) and several meetings were held, but the issues involved in attempting to compromise on a set of rules for each class became points of contention rather than points of compromise. The bottom line was that each track wanted the other tracks to utilize their rules. Very understandable when you consider the amount of money teams have to spend whenever the rules change - even it's for the good in the long run.

 

Nick

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