State Fair Speedway

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City/Town: Oklahoma City
Location Class: Commercial
Year Built: 1960's
Year Abandoned: 2010
Status: Demolished
Photojournalist: Cody CooperJustin Tyler MooreBilly Dixon

The State Fair Speedway has been a major part of fair goers for over 55 years. It has also hosted some of the biggest names in dirt car racing including AJ Foyt, Johnny Parsons and Steve Kinser just to a name a few. It was also the home to the ASCS National Tour’s Spring Nationals and many ASCS Sooner Regional races. The stadium has also hosted many concerts over the years including Garth Brooks and Clint Black.

Demolition of the aging racetrack began in August of 2010, but was delayed when the construction crew found asbestos inside some of the piping that is part of the grandstands.

Since work began, dozens of nostalgic racing enthusiasts and preservationists have stopped by State Fair Grounds to try and grab their own piece of history, said Chris Kates, from Midwest Wrecking Co.

“We’ve had lots of visitors,” Kates said. “People want souvenirs – bricks, dirt, chairs, all kinds of stuff, anything they can get.”

The 2010 racing season at the speedway was canceled after problems with electrical wiring in the stands were discovered, causing city officials to raise concerns about public safety. The grandstands also weren’t up to par with accessibility standards.

Racing fans urged the city and State Fair Board to spare the racetrack, And even created an online petition to gather signatures to save the speedway but the speedway still came down. Bringing the track up to code would just cost too much money, officials said.

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Dave Dennis
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Dave Dennis

Oklahoma City could not afford to spend the money to get the State Fair speedway up to date, but they spent Millions of dollars on the down River Park. The city needs to build a new Race Track for the STATE OF OKLAHOMA. The President needs to be fired and replaced as soon as possible.

ken
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ken

Just saw this web site– my dad and I used to drive from Enid on many a Friday night to watch Harold Leep, Evard Humphries, Wayne Cox, and a bunch of other talented drivers fly around the Fairgrounds track . Great American entertainment. Tearing down these tracks is just part of the changing demographics in our country. Back then lots of driveways had a stock car parked on them, and many families involved in the racing. Now– video games and sim racing are about all the younger people need to satisfy their "need for speed".

Billy R. Brunson
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Billy R. Brunson

Huge piece of history (Ann Margaret made a movie here!) GONE for no reason other than it has nothing to do with horse shows or horse-trailers (ironically, it once had a horse track outside the half-mile track). I will never attend the State Fair of Oklahoma again! I grew up watching the races, and dreamed of driving a Sprint on the half-mile myself. Short-sighted doesn't even begin to cover the hostility the Fair Board has against ANYTHING not horse show or horse-trailer parking space. They even got rid of the horse wagons that were on display (an old acquaintance of… Read more »

Pete
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Pete

I have two Oklahoma City race track magazines from the early 80s and one at outlaw book from the early 80s if anybody's interested let me know call Pete 405-413-6730

webpa
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webpa

The track was used in the filming of the 1962 (release) of "State Fair" featuring Pat Boone. That version was set at the Texas State Fair, which lacked (still does) a race track. The race scenes were shot sometime in the summer of 1960 … Because of a call for extras in the newspaper, I happened to be in the crowd while while they filmed. It seems the track and stands must have been built some time before that, possibly in 1958 or '59.

Randall Bowyer
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Randall Bowyer

Hello, I attended SFS every Friday Night from 1992 until the last year it was open in 2009. I a copy of every Racing Program and Thousands of pictures of the cars that ran at the Speedway and other local tracks. I really miss SFS, it is something else to OKC is intranced with OKC Thunder that they wouldn't let the race fans have their track, or build a new one like they promised, also they have also let the hockey and Indoor arena footnall teams go, how much longer will we have the Soccer teams. I thought Mayor Cornett… Read more »

Hailey
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Hailey

My house is about five minutes from the state fair speedway and from the time I was three to the time I was eight every single Friday night you could hear them racing around that track and it annoyed the crap out of my mom and dad but it was none the less part of my childhood, I'm now 15 and I find myself actually missing the sound of roaring engines on Fridays , another part of our states history is gone and will be missed , ps. The reason I said from the time I was three is because… Read more »

R. Dixon
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R. Dixon

They could have saved the speedway, but the City leaders and the State Fair manager wanted more space for paid parking. The fair managers have destroyed the State Fair ,took out the monorail taken out the 4-H buildings, maid the booth space rentals so high a lot of vendors forgot participating here. I’ve been to the Tulsa fair since 2010 and it’s a lot better fair then OKC. The Tulsa fair should be the Okla. State Fair.

Chris
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Chris

We lost Wedge wood, spring lake, Grnd standsg, all of our drive inns, except winchester… All in the name of $$$. We have no history left.

David Stroud
Guest

It is a shame that they did this. I went and watched the races there back in the 1980's and 90's, and watched some concerts there. I heard that the race track down in Lexington have been torned down as well. So, there is no oval track racing in central Oklahoma. Next closes is Meeker, but do not know if it is still there anymore. The majority of tracks left is on the east side of Oklahoma.

I read that the Jennins where trying to save the track. I guess no luck on their part.

Rod
Guest
Rod

It's such a shame that OKC's civic leaders have turned their backs on the accomplishments of previous generations, that they do not recognize what has been provided for them today. To destroy that time in our history and deny future generations of that same experience is appalling. Since history does repeat itself, I sincerely hope those responsible will have to endure the lessons of hindsight someday so that we who have been devastated by their actions will be able to pinpoint these events as their road to failure. So much gained and so much more lost, they truly are clueless.

Chris
Guest
Chris

I agree Mike hell we lost the NFR cause of money

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