Where did Stock Cars come from . . . and why have they become so popular here in the Electric City? Let us turn tne calendar back to 1951 and 1952. In 1951, there were very few Stock Cars in the State of Montana. The few that were in this area were racing at a track called “Baldies”, near Shelby.
In 1952, a few Stock Car enthusiasts promoted a Stock Car rare in September, at the Fairgrounds in Great Falls, which actual¬ly resulted in starting scheduled Stock Car Racing locally. After seeing how well this great outdoor sport was accepted by the general public, several Great Falls business men got their heads together and planned and built what is now the Great Falls Speedway this racing plant has eventually become one OF the finest quarter-mile dirt tracks in the State.
The location for the Speedway was a “Natural”, but did require a considerable amount of dirt fill, which at first emerged as a very serious problem, namely.. dust and “holes” in the track. These two obstacles alone required a great deal of time and expense to eliminate them, but after three seasons of operation, we feel that these problems are completely under control.
The Grandstands were built right on a natural ground slope which give our patrons the best of vision in all directions and at the same time eliminates the danger of falling from any height. The concessions are located very handy to the stands for the convenience of the fans. Rest room facilities on the ground have been constantly improved, as have the track lighting and sound system, which we think is merited by the excellent support given to Stock Car Racing by the fans in this area.
So. with the track in the very best of condition for the drivers, and the management having in mind the comfort of the fans at all times, the Great Falls 5peedway has rapidly become known throughout Montana and the Northwest as one of the finest and fastest quarter-mile dirt tracks in the area.
So, it we may. the Management and Racing, Inc. would like to THANK YOU for your generous support in the past and hope that we might be able to continue to bring you this most thrilling of outdoor sports – Stock Car Racing – and that the brand of entertainment will be the best possible and merit your further support.
From the 30th Year Anniversary Program
The birth of car racing in Great Falls can be traced back to 1952 when a car race was held at the State Fairgrounds. The event was a definite success, and a group of smart businessmen got together to build what is now the Great Falls Speedway.
Construction of the Great Falls Speedway at its present site began in 1952. That year the drivers raced at the Fairgrounds in Great Falls, at the Copper City Speedway in Butte; and drivers came from Billings, Butte, Brady, Cut Bank, Havre, and Great Falls.
In 1952, ‘Jalopy Auto Races” allowed any car, any year model, as long as piston displacement did not exceed 285 cu. in. According to the program for that year, a good car ready to race cost between $500 and $750. Roll bars, bucket seats, and safety belts were required. Rules allowed bumping, spinning another car out or anything that would let one racer pass another.
We have three classes. The beginning competitor usually starts out in the Stock class. These cars have basic stock suspension, engines and drives trains. Tires are limited to 81/2 inch width. Other limits include a 6 point roll cage and a 290 cu. in. engine. The Super Stock class is the later model car, nicer looking, with Ngh performance features. They may have fiber glass bodies, quick change rear ends, and larger engines. They also have a tire width up to 13 inches. The Sprint class are specially designed racers that boast such features as disc brakes, torsion bar suspension, fiber glass bodies, tubular frames, and such safety features as on board fire systems.
We’ve come a long way in thirty years and hope to do the same for many more to come.
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