Winchester Speedway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Winchester Speedway
"World's Fastest 1/2 Mile"
Winchester.png
Location2656 W State Road 32
Winchester, Indiana
Coordinates40°10′31″N 85°1′37″W / 40.17528°N 85.02694°W / 40.17528; -85.02694Coordinates: 40°10′31″N 85°1′37″W / 40.17528°N 85.02694°W / 40.17528; -85.02694
Capacity5,000
OwnerCharlie Shaw
Broke ground1914
Opened1916
Former namesFunk's Speedway
Clay oval (1916–1952)
SurfaceClay
Length0.500 mi (0.805 km)
Turns4
Banking≈45°
Oval (1952–present)
SurfaceAsphalt
Length0.500 mi (0.805 km)
Turns4
Banking37°
Websitewww.winchesterspeedway.com
Looking backwards at Turn 2

Winchester Speedway is a half-mile paved oval motor racetrack in White River Township, Randolph County, just outside Winchester, Indiana, approximately 90 miles (145 km) northeast of Indianapolis. It seats 4000 spectators. It is also known as the "World's Fastest 1/2 mile".

Funk's Speedway[edit]

The original half-mile clay oval was built in a cornfield by Frank Funk in 1914, and the track opened in 1916 with the name of Funk's Speedway.[1] As owner and operator, Funk pursued a two-pronged strategy to attract spectators. First, he recognized that attendance went up as the clay banks were raised higher and higher, reaching 25 feet by 1932, and the turns were said to be banked at 45° in 1948.[2] In 1932, the track could seat 6,000 in the grandstands, with the grounds accommodating 12,000 to 14,000.[3]

Second, Funk tested various treatments to reduce dust and increase traction for the drivers. He started with mineral oil, then branched out into various other substances, which would result in a track "not only relatively dust free but pavement fast."[4] This work brought the attention of highway engineers, who made the track a proving ground for roadbuilding technology.[1]

Winchester Speedway[edit]

NASCAR held a race here in 1950, and Lloyd Moore won the race.

The track's 37 degree banking is one of the steepest in motorsports, and the highest-banked active racetrack in the US. Some of the most famous racers in the world have raced at Winchester including Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Sarah Fisher and William "Billy" Hutson.

The track's signature event is the annual running of the "Winchester 400." Former winners during the first 36 editions include: Bob Senneker (7 wins), Mike Cope (3), Mike Eddy (2), Mark Martin (2), Gary St. Amant (2), Butch Miller, Rusty Wallace, Ted Musgrave, Glenn Allen Jr., Tim Steele, Scot Walters, and Hank Parker Jr.

Two of its races are held in memory of fallen drivers who won at the circuit: The Rich Vogler Classic, and the Kenny Irwin Memorial.

It used to be a stop on the ARCA tour. The track has hosted numerous USAC midget, sprint and USAC Silver Crown events that were televised on ESPN since the 1980s.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "History of Winchester Speedway (Funk's)". Union City Evening Times. George W. Patchell. 24 May 1938. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Old Times for Old Timers". WCHS Class of 1967. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  3. ^ Blixt, Al Jr. "Winchester Speedway - Then and Now Part 1: 1936-38". Al Blixt Auto Racing History. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Getting to be a part of history" (PDF). Exhaust!. 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2019.

External links[edit]