Punta Gorda Speedway has been open since 1928 and is the third-oldest motorsport complex in the US. It is located in Florida and features a half-mile track. The complex also contains a 300-yard track and a dragway. The track hosted its first NASCAR race in 1939 and currently hosts NASCAR’s season opener along with several other racing series. The speedway is known for its famous Christmas Lightning Run, which has attracted many fans from across the country. In 2019, the speedway will be celebrating its 80th anniversary and is looking to attract more fans due to its new looks and amenities.
What Do The Teams Look Like?
The teams that regularly race at Punta Gorda Speedway are generally independent teams that have several drivers who race for the team. Each team is responsible for maintaining their own cars and equipment, as well as providing their own drivers. Some of the teams that have raced at the speedway include:
- American Ironworks – Multiple winners including the legendary Bill Holler in the 1950s and 1960s
- Hoosier Tire – One of the most successful teams in the history of the speedway, winning three championships in the 1960s
- Hermanos Agramonte – Winners of the first NASCAR Caribbean Series race and have won 15 times at the speedway overall since its opening in 1928. One of the most successful teams in NASCAR history
- MGM Grand – One of the most popular and historic teams in the history of the speedway, having won nine championships between them
- Nashville West – Winners of the 2019 NASCAR Hall of Fame Championship – The most recent champions of Punta Gorda Speedway and winners of the 2019 Hall of Fame Championship. They are also the first team to claim the title since it began being awarded in 2011
- Rockingham Motors – Winners of the 2020 NASCAR All-Star Race – Named after the famous English horse stud that founded the team in 1921 and still owns it
- Titan Motorsports – Winners of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series – The team has only been around since 2015 but already have multiple victories and are currently looking to break into the top three in the championship
- Tudor United – Winners of the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series – The team has only been around since 2017 but already have multiple victories and are currently looking to break into the top three in the championship
What Amenities Does The Complex Offer?
Punta Gorda Speedway is a part of the Downtown Punta Gorda Historic District, which was established in 1986 and is known for its historic sites, museums, and galleries. The district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The historic district is made up of over 50 properties, 18 of which are located within the complex. In addition to the track and the halls of fame, the district also contains the Punta Gorda Museum of Art, which was established in 1936 and is the second-oldest art museum in Florida. The district also features the city’s second-largest public park, called Patton Lake, which is adjacent to the track. The park offers ballast pits, picnic areas, and a beach. The surrounding area also contains some great restaurants and bars that are a perfect way to end the day after a long afternoon at the races!
When Is The Next Race?
Punta Gorda Speedway holds an annual Labor Day Weekend race known as the Grand Prix, which pits roughly 10 NASCAR Cup Series teams against each other. The first race of the season is on Thursday, March 12th, and will be broadcast on TNT.
Tune in for a full weekend of racing action at Punta Gorda Speedway!