Dayton Speedway is one of the most historic racing venues in the US. It is located in Dayton, Ohio and got its name from the first race held there back in 1954. The 2.5-mile oval was built in the spirit of the old Indy 500 races that were held in a circle track style and was considered a “baby” version of those great events.
After years of renovations and expansions, Dayton Speedway now covers over 7 miles of roadways and has a capacity of over 220,000. Every week, thousands of people make their way to the “Speedway” to watch some of the best racing professionals in the world compete for cash and awards.
The History Of Dayton Speedway
What makes Dayton Speedway unique is its connection to the rich racing history of the Indianapolis 500. In 1954, two years after the last Indy 500 was completed, the track was reborn as the “bicentennial” Indy 500 and became a part of the legendary 500 Festival. Since then, the oval has been a part of the May festival every year.
The first race held at the new track was officially designated the “Indy Grand Prix” and was won by Tony Bettenhausen. In its first year, the race attracted 24,000 people, which was about 10% of the town’s total population. By 1960, the Indy Grand Prix had become the “Indy 500” with just under 50,000 people attending the race, making it the best attended sporting event in Dayton history up to that point.
The following year, the first of the “500 Festival”, the festival grew to include other racing events such as the Shell Rotary Cup and the Grand National Road Race. The race drew huge crowds and is still one of the most popular sporting events in the city to this day.
Dayton Speedway Is Still Ready To Host Rides And Enjoyable Events
Even though the last Indy 500 was held in 1996, the venue has continued to host other events such as the National Hot Rod Association’s Winter Nationals and the Firestone Indy Lights Festival. In addition, the speedway regularly holds car rallies, concerts, and other types of entertainment events.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the track also holds the “Rides” section of the festival, where participants can bring their bikes and enjoy an afternoon of speedway racing. Since the rides are organized by the motorcycle enthusiasts’ group, the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute, the event draws a lot of bikers who come from miles around to participate.
All of these events, plus the continued renovations and expansions that keep the venue fresh and exciting, make Dayton Speedway a valuable piece of real estate for the entire city. It is easy to see why this track is not only a part of the city’s history, but is also considered a jewel.
Can I Visit Dayton Speedway?
If you are planning to visit the Buckeye State, you must make a point to stop by Dayton. You will find that the city is fairly easy to navigate and is full of charming little shops and restaurants. In fact, one could say that Dayton is a little too charming, as you will probably find yourself wandering around with a smile on your face, wondering whether or not to pop the question to your significant other.
If you are looking for a bucket list trip, which includes some racing, then Dayton Speedway is the place to be. You will enjoy a day that you will never forget and will have the opportunity to see some of the greatest drivers in history take on the track. In addition, you will get a peek into the world of motor racing and get to feel the energy on the track during a live race.
You must make sure to bring your camera, as well as your racing license, as there are many photo opportunities around the track. The above-mentioned link will take you to the official website of the speedway, where you can find more information about the track and its festivities. In addition, if you go during the day, you will get a great opportunity to see the entire track from a different perspective. This is not something that you would get if you go at night, as the lighting is not ideal for taking photos.