INDIANAPOLIS — Fans of dirt-track racing in Indianapolis have not had a local track to call their own for decades, save for three years in the mid 1990’s when Bush Stadium was turned from a baseball facility into a race track.
However, next year, all of that will change with the opening of the new Circle
Local businessman Kevin Garrigus, the owner of the recently resurrected Indianapolis Speedrome, formally announced Thursday that he has signed a long-term deal with the board of directors of the Marion County Fairgrounds, and has begun the process of converting the current dirt facility into the first new Hoosier capitol dirt track in decades.
Circle City Raceway will actually be two tracks in one. The main track will be a 75-foot-wide, mildly-banked quarter-mile oval with a smaller racing surface to be installed inside.
Located where eastside interstates 465 and 74 meet, Circle City Raceway will be
easily accessible from all directions.
“We had a vision of bringing dirt-track racing to Indianapolis,” remarked track owner Garrigus. “The rebirth and pride that we have created at the Speedrome is something we look to repeat at Circle City. Attendance and car count at the 80-year-old Speedrome has grown substantially during our four-year tenure, while maintaining and growing an affordable fan experience.”
Garrigus has brought along Speedrome track president Jonathan Byrd to the project.
“A lot of money and time are being poured into the Circle City Raceway project to bring many years of motorsports success going forward for competitors and fans to enjoy,” noted Byrd, who spearheaded the initial process.
“We will be showcasing a wide array of classes. There will be many special events to go along with our local offerings. Talks are in progress with several notable national and regional racing series to compete at Circle City Raceway, as well as rules being developed for potential local divisions.”
Byrd did announce the track’s debut event will be historic.
“For the first time in the city’s history, winged 410 sprint cars will compete in Indianapolis at Circle City Raceway. May 20 and 21 will kick off a four-race swing through the state of Indiana for Tony Stewart’s All Star Circuit of Champions. Again, this is a history making affair, as these cars have never raced inside of Marion County. We are excited to be hosting the nation’s first touring winged sprint car series for our first event.”
In addition to the All Star Circuit of Champions, Byrd mentioned the possibilities of the series and cars that will race at the new track include USAC National Midget and Sprint Cars, dirt late models, UMP-style Modifieds, Legends Cars, 600cc Sprints, Outlaw Karts, Front Wheel Drive Cars, and TQ Midgets, among others.
Additional event dates will be announced as they are set, including multiple nights during the 2021 Marion County Fair, which is scheduled from June 25-July 4.
In addition to the actual competition surface being sculpted, the grounds are getting new concession and restroom buildings as well as additional grandstands and other improved infrastructure. A vast pit area will also be created to go along with the current fairgrounds parking for spectators.
A new website will be launched soon at www.CircleCityRaceway.com, and the track’s
Facebook page is already active.
“We have received so much positive feedback already from the racing community,” noted Byrd.