Dayton Speedway

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The Dayton Speedway was a race track in Dayton, Ohio, United States. It has been called the "Fastest 1/2 mile (plus 210 feet) in the world".

The track held events for NASCAR, AAA, MARC, ARCA, ASA, USAC, etc.


The track was opened in June 1934 as a flat "D shaped" 5/8 mile dirt track. The original track was a "copy" of the Legion Ascot Speedway.[1]

Timeline - The following is a timeline of events from 1933 to the present: [1]

  • 1933 - A "Kids Race" was held in September 1933.
  • 1934 - The Official opening of the track was Sunday, June 3, 1934.
The first race was won by Ken Fowler of Paterson, New Jersey. Mauri Rose of Dayton, was second.
  • 1934-1935 - The Speedway Manager was Paul Ackerman.
  • 1936 - On June 4, 1936, the entire track was repaved with asphalt.
The turns were "remade" & promised to be the fastest track of its design in the world.
  • 1937 - Track was purchased by Frank Funk.
  • 1939 - The track was converted to a high-banked 1/2 mile.
Funk also raised the banking, twice.
May have buried old Trolley cars to help fill the space.
Added an "oil substance" that "made the track as hard as pavement" (on hot days the stuff would get soapy and rain over the cars and drivers).
  • late 1930s - 1970 - Covered grandstands are added.
  • 1940's - Billboards on the backstretch begin to be displayed.
  • 1941-1945 - Closed during WWII.
  • 1946 - Reopened Friday June 29, 1946, with the first “Big Car” race ever held
at night on the East Coast (Ascot was first in the world).
Reopened after WWII - as an Asphalt Oval.
  • 1947-1954 - The track infield was 1/4 mile.
  • 1949 - Sold in 1949.
  • 1949-1958 - It had a single white guardrail.
  • 1949?-1954? - The track had a wooden scoring / announcers stand.
  • 1950 - It had a single "Strap" Guardrail (from 1950 Sprint Car Start on Home Page).
  • 1951/52 - Track was converted to (corrugated/extruded) rounded guardrails.
  • 1953 - First Dayton 500 was won by Iggy Katona.
  • 1954 - Track site was used for a concert by "The Drifters" (August 7, 1954).
  • 1955 - The infield track was 3/8 mile.
  • 1955 - Jim Romine Olds photo shows bridge (No bridge after 1955?)
  • 1960's - Harlan Fengler Era (chief steward of the Indy 500)
He removed 6 feet off the banks.
For 3 years, Earl Baltes Ran track (and several other tracks until 1979).
  • 1969 - Black and White Stripe were used on two High Guardrails.
Infield Scoring Stand (Benny Parsons Photo).
  • 1970 - Covered Grandstands in photos.
Black and White Stripes were used on two high guardrails.
  • 1971-1974 - Closed, but the track was used for testing.
  • 1975 - A new grandstand was built with new owner
Black and Gold (yellow) stripes were on two high guardrails.
  • 1976-1978 - Closed, the track was used for testing.
  • 1979 - Don Thompson Era
Red White Blue trim was applied to guardrails.
Label "Greater Dayton Speedway" was placed on Infield Scorers Stand.
The surface was repaved twice.
  • 1982 - Front of the Concession Stand near turn one nearly collapsed between races one Sunday.
Guardrails and restrooms were a mess.
  • 1982 - At end of season, closed, due to no liability insurance.
  • 1984 - Still for sale.
Guardrails needed to be replaced.
Grandstands needed repair.
One groove left in turns 1+2 and huge potholes in 3+4.
Straights were surprisingly good but banking needed attention.
  • 1986 - Still for sale.
The Flagman stand floor had rusted out.
The top section of infield scoring stand was gone.
Scales were gone from in front of I.S.S.
  • mid 1980s - The track began use as a landfill, eventually refuse filled the infield to the pavement on the straights. The site was then filled with clay and the track no longer exists.


  1. ^ a b "Dayton Speedway Lives", 2009, webpage: Dayton Speedway Lives.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°43′27″N 84°15′22″W / 39.72417°N 84.25611°W / 39.72417; -84.25611