A group of area race fans is attempting to put together a tribute to the old Pittsfield Speedway — but needs your help.
George Halpin of Pittsfield is one of those trying to get the ball — err, wheel — rolling.
“A meeting was held recently to explore the possibility of having a Pittsfield Speedway Reunion,” Halpin said. “The group would like former fans, drivers, pit crews, and other interested parties to share their ideas on what they would like to see, where to have the meeting, etc. All would be encouraged to bring any memorabilia of that era and share it at that time with others to see.”
Halpin said Pittsfield Speedway was formed in 1954 and operated until around 1970 at a one-fourth mile track on the west side of town where the present Wal-Mart store now stands.
“Every Saturday night during the summer months, the track opened to fans and drivers from cities as far away as St. Louis, Alton, Mexico (Mo.), Moberly (Mo.), Burlington (Iowa), Keokuk (Iowa), Macomb, Peoria, Clinton,
Decatur, Springfield and Jacksonville — just to name a few cities,” Halpin said. “Through the years, thousands of fans attended the races … and possibly no other event has brought that many to Pittsfield on a continuing basis for that many years.
“The track was so well known that many of the drivers, pit crews and helpers later moved on to become participants in various ways to what has become NASCAR.”
Halpin was clear to point out this is not any sort of plea for donations or contributions, rather an opportunity to share memories, renew friendships, reminisce about the history and good times the Pittsfield Speedway brought to the immediate and surrounding area.
Others involved in the project so far include Bob Smith, Roger Yager, Ben Johnson, Jim Halpin and Tim Halpin.
Those wishing more information should email Cory Kindhart at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• It should be noted that if not for Pittsfield Speedway there may never have been a Quincy Raceways. The late Albert Scott, who founded and built the track often referred to as the Broadway Bullring got his inspiration for such a facility after attending the races in Pittsfield. Quincy Raceways opened for business five years after Pittsfield’s operation had closed down. The Bullring will celebrate its 40th anniversary next season.