Sandusky Speedway Track Facts
DEC. 14, 1948 – Rough plans drawn up for Sandusky Speedway. Plans drawn up by Tommy Warren. Original track design was a 1/2 mile dirt track. Bert Decker showed where property lines were.
Feb. 1, 1950 agreement of lease, by and between Albertus D. Decker and Lake Erie Stock Coupe Racing Association, Inc. (LESCRA became incorporated on Jan. 10, 1950) Trustees of LESCRA where, Louis Lorenz, Russell (Dick) C. Kromer, Duraine W. Thom, Richard Gifford, and Thomas Warren.
Track construction was done by members of LESCRA. The track was a half mile with grandstands seating 3,500 people stretched out over the entire length of the straight away. The length of the straights were 600 Ft. long and the stands cost over $15,000. Also placed in at this time was a public address system.
May 14, 1950 the first race ever was at Sandusky Speedway. The first feature winner was Richard Brickly of Willard, Ohio. The race was won in a 1932 Ford Coupe, Richard won $103.00. There were 2,000 race fans in attendance. Admission for adults was $1.25 tax included and the children 6 to 12 cost $.50 tax included.
The feature was 30 laps in length. The first track record was 31.5 seconds set by the plans drawer Tommy Warren. The first ever points champion was Geo Fasco of Sandusky. The first 100 lap feature was won by Lewis Ringle of Attica.
Other attempts where made in this time span like on Aug. 25, 1951 A quarter mile track was built inside the half mile track. This would not work out though and would not be run after the year. The first ever Miss Sandusky Speedway was Ruth Ann Eckert 16, of Castalia, Ohio was elected on Sept. 10, 1951
Deckers Break Lease
1952 the lease between Bert Decker and L.E.S.C.R.A. was broken by Decker. Some NASCAR sanctioned races were held. On June 28, 1953 Bert Decker and sons held there first ever race under there management. In 1955 Decker blacktop the racing surface and added steel grandstands were built. On June 19, the first race was held and the first feature winner was number X51 Sid Howard of Vermilion, Ohio. The new track record for asphalt was set by Martin Snyder in a G.M.C. at a 23.59. This event took place in front of a crowd of 5,000.
And The Story Continues
- 1969 Decker Sons and mother would shut down the track at the end of the season.
- 1970 The track would be leased to Midvale Speedway to run a Late Model race
- 1971 Bill Bader and Terry Gavin signed a lease with Deckers to open on May 9, 1971 – also the first Sandusky Speedway Cavalcade was run with three division – Armen Holley wins the Supermodfied division, Johnny Benson Sr wins the Late Model division and the Stock car division was won by Wayne Prechtel. During the season the first Sandusky Classic was run and Nolan Swift takes home the feature win.
- 1972 Bill Bader became the solo promoter
- 1978 Larry Boos took over and became the track promoter. The Sandusky Classic was renamed the Hy-Miler.
- 1979 Larry Boos wanted to become the first track in the area to run a race. He designs a plan to run a race on New Years Day! The race would become the “Hangover Race”.
- 1987 A concrete wall was put up at the track on the front stretch then back stretch.
- 1987 Affiliated with N.A.S.C.A.R. Winston Cup Racing Series. The speedway has enjoyed two brief affiliations with NASCAR in its history. Some NASCAR-sanctioned races were held at the track in 1952 and from 1987 to 1994, Sandusky Speedway ran events in what is now known as the Whelen All-American Series.
- 1990 Joe Osite became promoter and Rich Davis became operations manager.
- 1992 Mike Calinoff became promoter at the track.
- 1994 Speedway no longer affiliated with N.A.S.C.A.R.
- 1994 Junior Buchanan becomes new GM and Promoter.
- 1999 Kevin Bonnema and Don Arnold Purchase Speedway from Bentley Warren at the end of the season.
- 2000 Kevin Bonnema sold his half of the track to Don Arnold.
- 2001 Don Arnold builds Motocross track in the infield.
- 2003 Dutch Haehn repaves entire half mile track. First new pavement in 30 years
- 2004 Kevin and Bev Jaycox Lease track from Don Arnold.
- 2005 Due to EPA concerns with the Motocross track – officials removed the track and added a go-kart track.
- 2008 Hosted the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series for the first time.
Years Of Changes and Tweaks
2012 The speed plant went to a 3 division line up which included the Modified Division, Street Stock division and either the Buckeye Super Sprints, Ohio Late Models, Main Event Racing Series or the Supermodifieds rotating on the schedule dropping the Spectator Stock and Sportsman Division. The Main Event Super Late ‘Outlaw’ Bodied Series Championships XXVI (25) was held at the track after being held in Columbus in previous years.
2013 Brings another shake up in the weekly racing schedule. Officials disbanded the Ohio Late Model series and added a Hobby Stock division, similar to the Spectator Stock division however without racing enhancements – keeping the cars stock and prohibiting racing tires, racing engine parts, any changes to the stock car parts, etc.
During the season and a week before the 36th Annual Hy-Miler, weather hit the track hard with heavy rainfalls – once the rain had passed officials spent several days pumping water out of the turns, in-field, pits and parking area. It is estimated that 3.7 million gallons were pumped off the property.
2014 Sandusky Speedway added the Ohio Stock division to the existing Hobby Stocks, Street Stocks, Modified weekly schedule. The infield go-kart track saw plenty of action and record number of karts during the season. At the end of the 2014 season track officials decided to make some changes to shake up the concession area by discontinuing the 7-UP products for Pepsi products and bringing in Budweiser instead of Miller. On the track the Buckeye Super Sprints were radically changed and it was decided to bring them out in 2015 without the wing!
A New Era Begins
2015 Kevin and Bev Jaycox purchase the track from Don Arnold. After a dismal start with the Buckeye Super Sprints, the sprints were removed from the schedule in June and the series dissolved.
2017 – The 2017 season was extremely challenging for various reasons. The track moved to Sundays in order to work with other local tracks. The price was reduced to $7.00 and every effort was given to making this season flourish. About 2 months into the season and a lot of discussion amongest drivers, teams, fans and employees the track reverted back to a Saturday schedule.
The price however remained at $7.00 which started to attract a lot of attention and towards the end of the year started to look like the admission price may be the key.
At the end of the season the winter did not bring much relief – it was a challenging winter with a lot of decisions that needed to be made. Owner Kevin Jaycox announced during the off season that he had sold the MSA Supermodified group that he and his father founded.
It was bittersweet and he believed that it needed new life, direction and a fresh start with someone who could concentrate solely on the series. It was also decided that Main Event was in the same situation and it was sold as well. The Sportsman division was dropped again from the schedule for the 2nd time in 5 years.