How Big Is Skagit Speedway? [Expert Review!]

Have you ever wondered how big Skagit Speedway is?

The answer is: it’s massive. But not in a bad way. The stadium is one of the biggest venues of its kind, and it’s been around for more than 80 years. In fact, it’s one of the historical venues in American racing, as Indy car racing was born out of pro-bikes racing in smaller, more intimate venues in the early 1900s.

Located in the San Juan Islands of Washington, the speedway regularly hosts some of the biggest names in motorsport. From World War II legend Steve McQueen to Formula One great Alain Prost, the legendary ‘Triple Crown of Motoring’ was achieved at Skagit Speedway. This year is the 100th anniversary of the stadium, and there will be numerous historic racing nostalgia acts taking part in the celebrations.

It wasn’t always this way. The track originally opened in 1927 and was originally named the ‘Bellingham Speedway’. It was initially 14.5 miles long and had a grandstand capacity of 12,500. A decade later, it was doubled in size to 28.5 miles. A new stand was built and the capacity was increased to 25,000. Further expansion saw the track nearly treble in size to 62 miles, with a capacity approaching 40,000. The stands were subsequently renamed after famous race drivers, such as ‘Sunny’ Rollins, who drove for the Joe Boyer Racing team in the 1950s and was also part of Team Schenck.

It was during this period of expansion that the stadium was first televised, with a 700-pound (318 kg) TV camera truck plonking down in the center of the action. This made the track, which was well over a mile long, the furthest place on American soil that people could see a sporting event. The truck would haul a huge antenna behind it, beaming live pictures of the event to viewers across the country.

The Track’s Most Memorable Moments

It would be remiss of us not to talk about the track’s most memorable moments. This famous racing venue has seen some incredible races and moments over the years.

One of the most significant moments was in 1970, when the stadium held another of its legendary ‘pennant races’. This was the culmination of a battle between two of the greatest drivers of all time, Jim Clark and Denny Hulme, for the NASCAR Grand National Championship. They were the last two drivers standing at the end of the race, and they battled hard for the title. It was one of the greatest finishing races ever, and one of the most memorable tracks for any motorsport fan. It was also the last time that the championship was decided in a ‘best of seven’ rather than, as is traditional, a ‘best of five’. Before this year’s ceremony, there will be no such thing as a ‘pennant race’ at the stadium.

Another significant moment was in 1971, when Australia’s Jack McGrath became the first international visitor to ever win a race at the Skagit Speedway. Racing against all odds, McGrath went on to win that year’s championship in the National Football League (NFL). He would go on to win another four NFL titles, including three in a row from 1975 to 1977.

If you were at all a fan of Jackie Chan’s ground-breaking Formula One racing program, you will have seen him pull off some incredible races at the track. Chan, who was also a prolific traveler, tested the limits of what a car could do in 1979. That year he won at Vusi Park in Johannesburg, South Africa, before coming back to America for a sweep of the remaining five races, including the prestigious Indianapolis 500, the last of which was also his farewell tour of the series. It was an incredible run that year, and it made Chan the first driver ever to win the ‘Triple Crown of Motorsport’ at the age of 45.

How Many People Can Fit In The Stands?

This is another frequently asked question, and one that we thought deserved an answer. The stands at the stadium can hold up to 80,000 people, making it one of the largest venues of its kind in North America. It is quite clearly a spiritual home for motorsport fans from the Pacific Northwest, as there are no other stadiums quite like it.

The largest recorded crowd to ever attend a motorsport event at the stadium was 111,000, which was the record for an NFL game at the time until the end of the 2017 season. An incredible 111,828 people came together to watch the Los Angeles Rams take on the New York Giants in an NFL game on December 14, 2017. This is due to the fact that there is no NFL stadium in the entire country that can hold an audience quite like it.

There was also a crowd of 111,828 people at Lucas Oil Raceway in 2007, when 112,042 turned up to see the San Francisco Giants take on the New York Yankees in Game Five of the World Series. It was the largest audience ever to witness a sporting event in the state of California.

Other record-breaking attendance figures at the stadium include:

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