visited a new track this weekend

I had a long weekend in southern Michigan, and loved visiting a new track. It is a little place that does a lot of things right: Galesburg Speedway.

Blinding speed? A glittering media spectacle? No to both, but I can tell you that the 1/4 paved surface had the right combination on bank, width and proportion to put on EXCELLENT, side by side racing. Four out of five features were won by guys who started DEEP in the field, and who picked their way to the front, usually passing on the outside. Yes, even the late models could pass and run side by side.

Why did they start so far back? Every class time trialed, and the fast cars went to the back. Ok, I am no Galesburg expert, in fact we were chattering all night, but my understanding is that the fast cars go to the rear in order to put on a show. IT WORKS.

I got the idea that everyone is a local, and they all brought their family, their neighbors, their buddy from work, etc. The crowd was very large and very vocal. They did a lot of cheering for their favorites; a nice change from stoic Florida fans.

Looking at the results from a July 4’th hundred lapper, I see that Florida’s Steve Dorer made the trip to race.

A few more notes: the announcer had nicknames for so many of the drivers. “Turbo Snail” won his feature. There were Rocketmen, Super Simmi’s, and more names than I could recall…even a “John Doe”. The point is that the place had atmosphere and color.

The street stock class showed me something I have been hoping for…the emergence of new stock-based cars. As usual, the class was filled with antique monte carlos, 45 year old Camaros and a dozen metric cars from the 1980.s. BUT the winner was a 5’th generation Camaro, no more than 5 or 6 years old, and with a modern engine that ran and sounded different from the old 350’s. It was quick enough to run the outside and win from the rear, and it had to beat what I believe was a modern Mustang! I hope this signals a new approach to mid-level, stock cars. Out with the old!

Kmow what makes a cool looking Bomber? A P.T. Cruiser! There was one last night that look great with a pipe bumper, plenty of cutting and dents. It went surprisingly well too.

This track reminded me of the old oval in Naples. This is the type of track that Auburndale and Showtime strive to be: local, busy and entertaining. Well done Galesburg!

What year was this when you were there. Did you say 1968 maybe 1973. You are correct. It did sound like a blast from the past. Back then in time not only did the fast cars start in the back but the winner from the week before started in the very rear. Most likely had a home near the rear every week when the race started. Somehow they were able to get to the front without tearing up cars, maybe a thing called respect made that happen. Back then they were all locals, showed up every week. They did not mind being a big fish in a small pond. Most raced 2 to 3 times a week. They did not need or care to race in a traveling series because they were the stars at the place where they race and family, friends and local fans knew them. A more important thing would be that the sponsor on their cars also were in the area. I am sure you had a great time, I would have.

Respect. I should have mentioned that. Considering the very close racing, good car count, and close quarters, there was very little damage. Sure, some drivers made mistakes, but I didn’t see wanton destruction.

Good thing too, because the track had the same problems that so many others do: only one wrecker, not enough clean-up help, etc… But I can tell you this, if I was a local, that would be my second home. (all based on one night of spectating!)

Based on a lifetime of you being at a racetrack every weekend anyway, if you moved there we’d know where to look even prior to this post. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Galesburg Raceway was built 1948, asphalt layed down in 1951.
The MARC Times Racing Newspapers were published by Dick Beebe-His dad Paul, layed down the original plans and blueprints for this raceway, a silly looking I/4 miler out in the woods.
This place still rocks to this day.

I still miss the MARC TIMES Racing Newspaper. I got it weekly, in the 80’s.