With the racing world paused amid the COVID-19 outbreak, SPEED SPORT is highlighting race tracks around the United States. This is part of that ongoing series.
Track of the Day: Jennerstown Speedway
Address: 224 Race St., Jennerstown, PA 15547
History: Jennerstown Speedway went through a number of iterations before the track’s current .522-mile asphalt oval.
The first track was built in the 1920s and was a half-mile dirt track known as the Jenners Fairgrounds. Following World War II, a smaller quarter-mile dirt track was built in the infield of the original oval in 1953.
Laird Brunner was the first weekly promoter to present stock car racing at the track. At that point the half-mile track was not in use, with competitors racing on the smaller quarter-mile dirt oval. The half-mile track was briefly restored and used, but later abandoned again in the 1960s.
In 1967, a group of seven businessmen teamed to buy the track and rebuilt it from the ground up, transforming the facility into a fast, half-mile dirt oval. For the next 20 years dirt racing ruled the area, with Stanley “Piney” Lasky eventually becoming the sole owner of the track.
Finally, in 1987, Lasky made the decision to pave the half-mile oval. He continued to operate the track until 1994, when he died unexpectedly. His son, Stanley Lasky Jr., ran the track until 2000, when he sold it to Steve Peles and Hooter’s Restaurant’s founder Bob Brooks.
Dave Wheeler acquired the track a few seasons later, but by 2008 the it was left dormant until 2014. Weekly racing returned that season and in 2019 the trio of John Morocco, Richard Pologruto and Larry Hemminger purchased the track from Wheeler after completing a multi-year lease.
These days, five weekly divisions call Jennerstown Speedway home, including late models, modifieds, street stocks, fast fours and chargers. Teddy Gibala is the reigning late model track champion. The Must See Racing Sprint Car Series is also a regular visitor to the track.
The track’s biggest event of the season is the Motor Mountain Masters for the late model division. The race pays $10,000 to the winner. Todd Stone won the 2019 edition of the race, which was taped and aired later on SPEED SPORT presented by WorkAtHendrick.com on MAVTV.