Illinois State Fairgrounds Racetrack

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Illinois State Fairgrounds Racetrack
The Springfield Mile
Location Springfield, Illinois
Time zone GMT-6
Owner State of Illinois
Operator Bob Sargent / Track Enterprises
Opened c. 1853
Major events ARCA RE/MAX Series
Allen Crowe Memorial 100
USAC Silver Crown Series
A.M.A. Grand National Championship
Oval
Surface Clay
Length 1 mi (1.6 km)
Turns

4

Illinois State Fairgrounds
Location Jct. of Sangamon Ave. and Peoria Rd., Springfield, Illinois
Built 1894
Architectural style Classical Revival
Governing body State
MPS Historic Fairgrounds in Illinois MPS
NRHP Reference # 90000720[1]
Added to NRHP May 14, 1990

Illinois State Fairgrounds Racetrack is a one mile long clay oval motor racetrack on the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, the state capital. Constructed in the late 19th century and reconstructed in 1927, the "Springfield Mile" as it is known has hosted competitive auto racing since 1910, making it one of the oldest speedways in the United States. It is the oldest track to continually host national championship dirt track racing, holding its first national championship race in 1934 under the American Automobile Association banner. The Illinois State Fair mile currently hosts the Allen Crowe Memorial 100 ARCA stock car race, USAC Silver Crown championship dirt cars, UMP Late Models and Modifieds and the A.M.A. Grand National Championship. It is the home of five world records for automobile racing making it one of the fastest dirt tracks in the world.

Billy Winn won the first national championship dirt track race held at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in 1934. A.J. Foyt ran his first national championship race there in August 1957. The track is host to two of the older memorial events in the United States, the Tony Bettenhausen 100 for the USAC dirt championship cars, first run in 1961 and the Allen Crowe Memorial 100 stock car event for USAC, now ARCA, stock cars, first held in 1963. Both races are now held on the last weekend of the Illinois State Fair. Chuck Gurney is the only seven time winner of the Tony Bettenhausen 100, while ARCA driver Frank Kimmel won the Allen Crowe Memorial for the seventh time in 2008.

The Springfield 100/Tony Bettenhausen 100 was part of the AAA/USAC Championship Car schedule from 1934 to 1940, 1947 to 1970 and again in 1981 and 1982.

From 1946 to 1953, the A.M.A. Grand National Champion was crowned based solely on the results of the Springfield Mile held at the fairground racetrack.[2]

USAC Champ Car race history[edit]

All winners were United States American

Season Date Winning Driver Chassis Engine
1956 August 19 Jimmy Bryan Kuzma Offy
1957 August 17 Rodger Ward Lesovsky Offy
1958 August 16 Johnny Thomson Kuzma Offy
1959 August 22 Len Sutton Kuzma Offy
1960 August 20 Jim Packard Lesovsky Offy
1961 August 21 Jim Hurtubise Kuzma Offy
1962 August 19 Jim Hurtubise Kuzma Offy
1963 August 17 Rodger Ward Watson Offy
1964 August 22 A.J. Foyt Meskowski Offy
1965 August 21 A.J. Foyt Meskowski Offy
1966 August 20 Don Branson Watson Offy
1967 August 19 A.J. Foyt Meskowski Offy
1968 August 17 Roger McCluskey Kuzma Offy
1969 August 18 Mario Andretti Kuzma Offy
1970 August 22 Al Unser King Ford
1981 August 15 George Snider Lefevre Chevrolet
1982 August 14 Bobby Olivero Watson Chevrolet

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ The First Sixty Years; An Illustrated History of the American Motorcyclist Association. American Motorcyclist (Books.Google.com). January 1984. Retrieved 1 January 2011.