Is Barberton Speedway For Sale? [Expert Review!]

For the last 3 years, my co-workers and I have joked that it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to buy Barberton Speedway. Well, it’s happened. We’ve actually found a buyer and it will be transferred to a 3rd party at the end of the month. While this is certainly frustrating, I’ve gotta admit that I also kind of feel relieved. You see, let’s face facts…

No matter how many times we’ve said it, the joke is always on us. There’s just something about the history and aura of Barberton Speedway that makes it so appealing. So what is it that makes this dirt track so special? Is it the name? Is it the location? Is it the racing? Well, let’s take a closer look.

The History Of Barberton Speedway

First opened in 1946, the speedway was named after the town it was located in. Back in those days, the track was nothing more than a grass field that used to be a part of the local high school. It wasn’t until the early 1950’s that the track was paved and then it underwent several renovations over the years. Unfortunately, in 1992 the track was totally destroyed by a massive fire. However, thanks to the hard work of many people, the speedway was rebuilt and it has remained open ever since. Today, Barberton Speedway is one of the most famous dirt tracks in the country. In fact, it was one of the first tracks that allowed women to race alongside men. It is also one of the few remaining independent dirt tracks in the country.

The Location

Barberton Speedway is located in Barberton, Ohio, which is in the northern part of the state. The track is actually located within the city limits but it doesn’t have any urban sprawl nearby. This gives it a unique feel as most of the other tracks have developed quite a bit over the past few decades. If you live in the area, you’ll definitely know what I’m talking about. The track is just off of exit 19A on I-80, which is the main highway that runs through the state. It’s about a 30 minute drive from Cleveland to Barberton. When you arrive at the track, you’ll find a grandstands in the center of the parking lot, flanked by garages and a barbecue stand.

The Grandstands

The grandstands at Barberton Speedway are an excellent example of what a real racetrack should look like. They’re absolutely massive, lined with plastic chairs and have a capacity of 5000 people. Along the backstretch, you’ll find the press box, surrounded by a giant balcony. There’s also a small gallery located on the first floor, perfect for individuals or families who want to get a closer look at the action underway. Unfortunately, the grandstands are not all that the track has to offer. As I mentioned before, the track was nearly destroyed by fire, about 3 years ago. As a result, much of the seating had to be replaced and the track itself was renovated. However, the best part of the grandstands was saved and it still functions perfectly today.

The Rivalry

Barberton Speedway is a part of the Great Lakes Dirt Track Racing Association (GLDTRI), which also includes tracks like Maple Grove and Waverly. These tracks have been rivals since the early 1950’s, with Waverly being the oldest and Maple Grove being the newest. The races are usually a lot of fun and sometimes result in spectacular crashes. It wouldn’t be a understatement to say that these 3 tracks are some of the most legendary in the country. Their races don’t just end in victory though, as you’ll often see rivals from all across the country turn up to battle it out on a Saturday night.

The Racing

Barberton Speedway is most famous for its racing though. As I mentioned before, it’s one of the few remaining independent tracks in the country, which means that it isn’t a part of any NASCAR or IndyCar series. This enables it to run some fantastic, yet unique events. One of the best is the Hellcat 500, held every other year and the longest, straightest, dirt track race in the country. The track also hosts the Lucas Oil Slingshot™ Nationals, an annual event that was originally created by a local car club. They hold the race because it’s the only dirt track race of its kind, that they know of, which means that it draws a lot of people from all across the country.

Other Attractions

Besides the racing, another major event that takes place at Barberton Speedway is the Midget 500. It’s an excellent display of local racing talent and it also serves as the opening round of the World Championship of Dirt Track Racing. You might also check out the weekly amateur nights, where you can see some of the best local drivers practice and sometimes race against each other. Also, during the offseason, the track often hosts concerts and other events, like fireworks shows and tractor pulls, which are always fun to watch.

Now, as much as I loved talking about the history and all the awesome things that the track has to offer, the time has come for me to reveal my biggest concern. As I’ve mentioned, the track was nearly destroyed by fire 3 years ago and while it’s been repaired and all the equipment has been replaced, it’s still not the same as it was before the fire. Even though it’s a cool track to walk around and look at, I really hope that the new owner does something about the conditions of the track. Now, I’m sure that they will and it will be awesome to see the track running at it’s best once again.

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