Most Minnesota residents would be surprised to know that racing in Minnesota dates all the way back to the turn of the century as one of the first automobile races in the country was run in the Gopher State. Even more surprising is the fact that at one time there was a huge high-banked 2-mile concrete racetrack called the Twin Cities Speedway located where the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport now resides.
Unfortunately the Twin Cities Speedway was very short-lived and by 1919 its gates were closed. Over the next century many short oval tracks, drag strips, motocross tracks, and a road course have kept Minnesota racers and fans relatively busy during the racing season. But one glaring fact still remains; the Twin Cities region, with it's nearly 2.9 million residents, is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country that lacks a large paved oval racetrack capable of hosting major league motorsports.
So join us as we take a scrapbook look back at some of the many tracks, machines and great drivers and riders that have contributed to the rich history of Minnesota motorsports. At the same time, just think about the possibilities of what is yet to come!
The Minnesota State Fair Speedway was originally a 1-mile track used for horse racing dating back to 1885. It was also used for auto racing from 1902 to 1939. Eventually there was a 5/8 mile dirt track inside the mile. In 1940, the mile track was plowed under while the 5/8 oval was used for stock and sprint car races throughout the 50s. The above photo is a 1959 sprint car race. It was paved in '64 and was torn up in 2003 after it's last race, an ASA stock car event. Through the years IMCA and USAC stock cars and sprint cars all competed on the track with some very famous short trackers such as A.J. Foyt, Ernie Derr, Dick Trickle and Neil Bonnet all turning a wheel there at some time.