DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – On the heels of making some significant renewals with its member tracks since the 2013 season started, the ASA announced recently the addition of a new venue, Grundy County Speedway, the third-mile high-banked paved oval in Morris.
Built by the Grundy County Agricultural District fair in 1971, the fair had its start as a horse track in Mazon in 1906. Over the years, many sanctioning groups and short track stars raced, and won, on the historic semi-banked track.
The track, which first opened in 1926 as a half-mile dirt track, has been under the leadership of Burdette Carter ever since Board President and Promoter Frank Welch passed away in 2009. Carter, Board Secretary, is also the long-time operator of the Grundy County Fair held over the July 4 weekend. Grundy County Speedway runs late models, Mid-American sportsmen, street stocks and four cylinders every Friday night.
“It is always exciting to add a new track to the ASA Member Track family,” said Dennis Huth, president of ASA. “But in this case it truly is special to be adding Grundy County Speedway, a track with so much history and a track that has hosted so many events and great names over the years.”
In addition to its own racing divisions, the facility hosts STARS (Short Track Auto Racing Series) on Saturday nights. STARS showcases sportsman and national midgets along with legend cars throughout the spring and summer months.
"The Grundy County Board looked long and hard at the ASA Member Track Program, and thanks to Ron (Snow) and Dennis (Huth), they were able to answer our questions and provide what we needed,” said Burdette Carter. “We look forward to the rest of the season under the ASA banner and giving our racers a chance to run against other tracks in the ASA Member Track family."
The transition to a paved oval began in 1947 with the debut of the Mazon Speed Bowl, a quarter-mile high-banked oval that was built to expand seating and feature “midget”-style racing and featured a long list of racers including names like Bob Tattersall, Tony Bettenhausen Sr., Bob Watters, Frank Welch, Norman Legner, Dick Thetard, Bud Ferguson, Mel Kenyon, Wild Willie Wildhabner, Duke Nalon, Lloyd Ruby and Bud Koehler among many others.
For 66 years, the Grundy County fair was located in Mazon but as crowds became larger, the fairgrounds was moved in 1971 to its current location where the present high-banked paved oval sits and has hosted prominent racing names like Bobby Allison, Tom Musgrave, Ted Musgrave, Dale Earnhardt, Mark Martin, Dick Trickle, Larry Phillips, Darrell Waltrip, Dave Watson, Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Danny Drinan, Jim Mahoney, Don Carter Jr. and Susan Carter.
Grundy County Speedway runs its season annually from late April to mid-September.
Snow, ASA’s Midwest Regional Director, is a former promoter at the speedway and has attended many, many races there since it opened in 1971.
“Burdette Carter and I have been friends for many years,” said Snow. “I thank Dennis Huth for helping me present a program to Burdette that made it possible for Grundy County to select the ASA Member Track Program as their first-ever track membership.
“'ASA Racing Builds Champions,' and with Grundy County Speedway's rich history of past and future champions racing there, it couldn't be a better match.”
The ASA Member Track program is comprised of dirt and asphalt short tracks along with road courses around the United States and Canada, as well as a variety of regional and national touring series. Drivers from participating ASA Member Tracks across the United States choose one of their divisions as their premiere divisions. Those drivers in the premiere division, who are ASA members in good standing, will compete at their ASA Member Track to first win their track championship. Once they accomplish that goal, they will then be matched up against the other premiere division champions to determine the National Champion.