Oglethorpe Speedway Park celebrates it’s 66th Anniversary in 2017. The half mile speedway has entertained race fans since March of 1951 when championship motorcycle racing debuted in Savannah. The first stock car race took place at the historic half mile in May of 1951. Johnnie Parsons was the first winner. Parsons was the defending Indy 500 winner that year.
The half mile clay speedway hosted the NASCAR Grand National Series (today’s Sprint Cup Series) in March of 1954 and 1955. The winner of the race on March 28, 1954 was Al Keller in a 1954 Hudson. Lee Petty won on March 6, 1955. His son, Richard Petty, signed in as a crew member that day. Herb Thomas competed that day along with Curtis Turner, Junior Johnson and Buck Baker.
Many of today’s most recognized racers have turned laps here at OSP Former NASCAR Winston Cup champions Ned Jarrett, Glenn “Fireball” Roberts, David Pearson, Joe Weatherly, Buddy Baker, Dale Earnhardt and Speedy Thompson have competed at Oglethorpe Speedway Park.
Current owners, The Stone Family, purchased the speedway in 1977. Since then, Oglethorpe Speedway Park has led the way for many tracks in the area. Mr. Stone was the first promoter to offer dirt racers a purse of over $45,000. He was also the first dirt track to sign on with the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series.
In 1984, Oglethorpe Speedway Park re-entered the NASCAR record books. Oglethorpe Speedway Late Model champion David Into became the first national champion for NASCAR’s short track series. Into took home a $25,000 pay day for his 1984 efforts.
The historic half mile speedway has sprouted careers and entertained hundreds of drivers for the past half century in the Late Models, Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks, Pure Stocks, Go Karts, Enduro Series, Powder Puff, 440 Series and Queen Bees.
The tradition of championship racing in a family oriented facility lives on as Oglethorpe Speedway Park runs weekly racing events on Friday nights at 8:00pm. Late Models, Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Pure Stocks, Mini Stocks, Super 4’s and Amateur 4’s make up the weekly schedule.