“Back in the Day” – Broadway Speedway

Posted: February 29, 2020 in Uncategorized

By: Stan Kalwasinski — “Back in the Day”

The 1960 Broadway Speedway Program

The old Broadway Speedway opened in the summer of 1957 after the owner, Ralph Conner and his son, Don, completed about a seven-year building project. Located about three miles south of U.S. 30 on Broadway Ave. (Route 53) in Crown Point, Ind., the new track was described as a slightly banked, clay surface, quarter-mile oval.

Conner, who owned a sod farm north of the speedway, had built two at the time state-of-the-art buildings on the grounds – a glass block ticket office and a huge concession building which for years would have a sign on top of it that read – “Broadway Speedway – Fastest Track On Earth”.

Wayne Adams wrote in his Midwest Whispers column in the July 23, 1957 issue of Illustrated Speedway News, “The Conners are now running midgets (Offys and Fords) every Friday nite and open competition modified stock cars every Saturday nite.”

Wayne Bryant image of Bill Carr after Carr won Broadway’s Season Championship race in 1958

Stock car winners in 1957 included Bob Perrine, Harry Klisiak, Harley Bisselburg and Sonny Hedrick. Early modified (coupe) champions were Jerry Brown, Bill Carr and Luke Gilbert. Gilbert’s championship came in 1960 with the Steel City Racing Association sanctioning the races, which featured the old coupes with flathead engines for the most part. Besides Gilbert, other front runners in 1960 were Carr, George Hatch, brothers Elmer and Don Embry and Don Jeffries, among others. The coupes were the mainstay for the weekly action with Larry Cope becoming the man to beat in the mid-1960s. Late-model were introduced around 1966.

Over the years, the track would see numerous owners and promoters taking over the operational reins with track configurations and name changes (Southlake Speedway and Crown Point Speedway) taking place. The speedway would host its last racing program in 2005.

Gene Crucean photo from 1979 showing the famous Broadway Speedway sign – “Fastest Track On Earth”

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