About Brownstown Speedway
Racing in Indiana is all about tradition and one needs to look no further than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to find evidence of great racing tradition. Scattered throughout Indiana are local racing facilities that exhibit their own traditions in racing. Brownstown Speedway is one such dirt racing facility that is often described with exactly that word; tradition.
During the winter of 1951 a group of local men got together to discuss doing something different with the ½ mile clay track at the Jackson County Fairgrounds that had attempted horse racing but never really had much success. This group of men decided to give Stock Car” racing a try and Brownstown Speedway held its first ever event on a Sunday afternoon in May of 1952. The event offered a $500 purse or 50% of the gate, whichever was greater. Drivers and cars from all over Southern Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky filled the field. A crowd of around 1100 filled the “covered grandstand” for the race and with the success of this event; the tradition of stock car racing at Brownstown Speedway was born.
In 1954 a new quarter mile track was built with the safety of drivers and fans being of top concern. Grandstand seating was nearly doubled, lights were installed, and Saturday night races at the Speedway became tradition. Though many changes have been made to the facilities over the years, drivers still race on essentially the same track layout from 1955 and a portion of the main grandstands remain covered.
Today, the large quarter mile semi-banked clay oval located at the Jackson County Fairgrounds just east of Brownstown, Indiana is extra wide and free of guardrails or walls on both the inside and the rim of the track. Drivers have the luxury of running off the racing surface on the inside or outside of the track without damage to car or driver. It is also not uncommon to see three and four wide racing around the Speedway due to the width of the racing surface. All these factors along with some very talented local and regional drivers make for highly competitive events at the Speedway; another well know tradition of Brownstown Speedway. Brownstown Speedway was recognized by “USA Today” as one of the top 12 (“Dirty Dozen”) best dirt racing tracks in the country mainly due to the highly competitive racing at the track.
Brownstown Speedway attracts drivers and fans from all over Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, and Ohio on a regular basis. In 1997 the first event ever televised at the track was held and was part of ESPN’s “Thursday Night Thunder” television program. Brownstown Speedway races Saturday nights, from March to October, and mainly runs traditional “Stock Car” classes such as Super Late Models, Crate Late Models, Super Stocks, Modifieds, Pure Stocks and Hornets (4 cylinder stock car). Special events are also held for open wheel type cars such as Sprint cars, Midgets, TQ Midgets, and Mini Sprints. The Speedway averaged over 130 drivers per event in 2013 with over 500 drivers participating at the Speedway throughout the 2013 racing season.
Along with the traditions of Saturday night racing and highly competitive racing, Brownstown Speedway host several long standing traditional events as well. The “Indiana Icebreaker” held in early spring has become one of the regions early race season favorites. The Icebreaker features the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and will be held for the 18th time in 2015 offering a winner’s prize of $10,000. Other traditional race events included the “Hoosier Dirt Classic” (31st annual in 2015) which in recent years has served as he kickoff to the UMP DirtCar Summer Nationals tour, the “Grand Champion Jackson County Fair Race”, the “Hall of Fame Classic”, “Fun Fest” a four day event and the biggest traditional event at the Speedway, the “Jackson 100”.
The tracks signature event, the “Jackson 100”, was started in 1980 and will be held for the 36th time in 2015. The nation’s top drivers attend and have won this event. This traditional event also features the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and offers a $20,000 top prize to the winner. The “Jackson 100” has been televised in the past as part of Lucas Oil’s televised racing events adding to the popularity of this event. Many fans include the “Jackson 100” as one of their racing seasons must see events.
A long history of racing since 1952, Saturday night races, highly competitive drivers, side-by-side racing action, iconic covered grandstand, and popular annual racing events are all traditions that Brownstown Speedway have become known for all over the country. Race fans and drivers local to the area and from all over the Midwest make regular visits to Brownstown Speedway and several claim it as their “home” track. Brownstown Speedway has evolved from its humble beginnings in 1952 to one of the top dirt racing facilities in the country and welcomes all to come and experience the traditions of Brownstown Speedway.