Wednesday, 19 February 2020

15 Abandoned And Forgotten NASCAR Race Tracks | HotCars – HotCars

15 Abandoned And Forgotten NASCAR Race Tracks | HotCars – HotCars
13 Feb

We love talking about vintage cars and once-great models that are now all but forgotten. But cars are not the only thing that gets forgotten with time. As time moves forward, we leave a lot behind. We lose people along the way, move houses or cities, and leave memories behind. The same thing happens to things and places. It’s in human nature to always look and move forward.

So, it’s no surprise that the places that once hosted crowds of people thronging to see the sights they offered have also been forgotten and abandoned over time. Take these 15 NASCAR race tracks for example. Once they were in great demand, playing host to thousands of screaming fans and booming NASCAR race cars, and considered hallowed grounds of racing history. Today, they lay abandoned and forgotten. Do you remember any of these iconic race tracks that made NASCAR history?

15 Occoneechee Speedway, North Carolina

Occoneechee Speedway, North Carolina

via Autoweek

Once a horse-racing track, the Occoneechee Speedway became a NASCAR track in early 1949, till it finally closed doors in 1969. The last win on it was by Richard Petty and this was also the place where Louise Smith became NASCAR’s first female driver. While there is a jogging track for NASCAR buffs to visit, most of it is covered in overgrowth.

14 Riverside International Raceway, California

Riverside International Raceway, California

via Pinterest

The Riverside Int’l Raceway became a part of motorsport in 1957 and was considered one of the finest race car tracks on this side of the world. It was also a rather dangerous one and ended up taking the lives of 19 drivers. After being abandoned, a part of it has been covered by a mall.

13 Columbia Speedway, South Carolina

Columbia Speedway, South Carolina

via Twitter

From 1951 all the way until 1971, some of the best NASCAR races happened here. For most of its existence, it was a dirt track, but it was paved for the last of the two Grand Nationals of 1971. It had been abandoned for a long time before being repurposed by the public to hold events and festivals.

12 Ontario Motor Speedway, California

Ontario Motor Speedway, California

via YouTube

Opened in 1970, the Ontario Motor Speedway was a relatively new entrant to the world of motorsports, built to accommodate all four major racing sanctioning authorities: NASCAR, NHRA, FIA, and USAC. Within a decade, the audience dipped, and the flag was never raised again at this Speedway after 1980. Today, there’s a Hilton hotel and commercial development on most of the hallowed tracks.

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11 Nazareth Speedway, Pennsylvania

Nazareth Speedway, Pennsylvania

via Pinterest

The big daddy of the lot, the Nazareth Speedway remained in operation for nearly a century – beginning 1910 and closing its doors in 2004. It was a dirt track at nascence and then repaved in 1987 for bigger races. After 2004, it lay abandoned with dirt piles to prevent unauthorized racing till it was bought for commercial development in 2015.

10 Jackson International Speedway, Mississippi

Jackson International Speedway, Mississippi

via Flickr

The Jackson International Speedway opened its doors in 1968 and had the fastest half-mile track on it. Bobby Harnell proved his mettle on these very tracks, and yet, once complaints began to pore of the track’s damaging condition to the cars, NASCAR made a prompt exit. By 1973, it was all over. Today, it’s nothing but dense woods.

9 Texas World Speedway, Texas

Texas World Speedway, Texas

via AviationTrendolizer

Opened in 1969 and closed rather recently in 2017, the Texas World Speedway was a large race track, built in a state with a penchant for everything big. With track conditions deteriorating over time, NASCAR called it quits and the Texas World Speedway closed its doors. It was used to dump vehicles affected by Hurricane Harvey and could be developed residentially soon.

8 Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds, South Carolina

Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds, South Carolina

via RaceFansForever

When Joe Littlejohn attended the preliminary NASCAR meetings, he also decided to turn his horse racing track into a car racing one. Grand Nationals were held here in the ‘50s and ‘60s, but by 1969, NASCAR pulled out of this track. Since then, small-time races have been hosted, but they have been few and far between. Despite some annual events, most of the track is slowly being reclaimed by Mother Nature.

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7 North Wilkesboro Speedway, North Carolina

North Wilkesboro Speedway, North Carolina

via Pinterest

The North Wilkesboro Speedway shares NASCAR’s birth year, 1949, and carried on hosting NASCAR events till it closed its doors to the public in 1996. It reopened in 2010 and hosted a few races before the doors were shut again in 2011. Since then, there has been an eerie silence on and around it, usually related to abandonment.

6 I-70 Speedway, Missouri

I-70 Speedway, Missouri

via RacingNews

A renowned short track, the I-70 Speedway saw some great names in racing test their mettle on it since its inception in 1969. It fell on hard times and closed down in 2009, despite being home to some of the greats, like Rusty Wallace and Larry Phillips. Paul Newman once rented it too. A smaller track is supposed to be opened there again in 2020. Let’s see if its luck changes.

5 Rockingham Speedway, North Carolina

Rockingham Speedway, North Carolina

via Reddit

It opened in 1965 as a flat, one-mile oval, and despite some good racing, it fell into an audience shortage. It was put up for auction in 2007 and soon revived. But, by 2018, the tracks were in bad condition and NASCAR pulled out. Since then, it has been in limbo, though plans are in full swing to yet again open it for racing under new ownership.

4 Louisville Motor Speedway, Kentucky

Louisville Motor Speedway, Kentucky

via Reddit

Opened in 1988, the Louisville Motor Speedway was a three-cornered track that did well in the beginning but later fell short due to the advancements that had been made on some of the other tracks. By 2000, the Kentucky Speedway opened and the Louisville Motor Speedway was abandoned for a bit before being completely demolished. Today it hosts an industrial park.

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3 Middle Georgia Raceway, Georgia

Middle Georgia Raceway, Georgia

via MagicCityRadar

The Middle Georgia Raceway opened in 1966, with many of the racing biggies earning victories there. Richard Petty won four titles, while Bobby Allison won three. In the 1970s, there was also a massive concert held there that the good people of Georgia were none too pleased about. The last race happened in 1971, and by 1986 it was closed. It has been abandoned ever since.

2 Chicago Motor Speedway, Chicago

Chicago Motor Speedway, Chicago

via Flickr

The 67,000-seat racetrack opened to packed houses in 1999 and hosted both NASCAR auto races and horse races. However, by 2001 it was in serious financial trouble. For a while, the grandstands were torn down but the track remained. Today, nothing is left of the track and the grounds now have a Walmart, a public park, and a Wirtz beverage distribution center.

1 Flemington Speedway, New Jersey

Flemington Speedway, New Jersey

via Pinterest

The Flemington Speedway opened in 1910 and was known as the fastest 5/8 in the United States. This is the race track the pioneered the use of foam blocks and made crashes less risky. By 1990, they paved the track, made it faster and deadlier and its popularity began to decrease dramatically. It was closed in 2002 and demolished by 2005.

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