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: Madison Int’l Speedway
Address: 1122 Sunrise Rd., Oregon, WI 53575
History: Madison Int’l Speedway wasn’t the first track built in Oregon, Wis.
The first track in the small Wisconsin town was Oregon Legion Speedway. The quarter-mile dirt track was built in the early 1950s and hosted weekly racing through the summer months.
Originally operated by local service organizations, Sam Bartus acquired the track in 1963 and paved the quarter-mile oval. That was just the start for Bartus, who decided to tear up the quarter-mile oval and start over in 1969.
The result was Madison Int’l Speedway, though, at the time it was known as Capital Super Speedway. Jerry Eckhardt won the first race on the new half-mile paved oval that same year.
The track operated until 1979, when it closed due to small crowds and car counts. In 1980, Fred Nielsen purchased the track and hired legendary ARTGO promoter John McKarns to run the track.
The track changed hands again in 1983, with Bob and Tony Zider acquiring it. New owners arrived again in 1987, when Craig Hemmen bought the track and covered the surface with dirt and operating it as Impact Speedway.
Unfortunately for Hemmen, the new surface and name didn’t suit the facility and it was closed in 1989. In 1992, Wayne Erickson stepped in and bought the track, removed the dirt surface and repaved the old asphalt track.
The track changed hands a few more times, with the Fillner family acquiring the facility in 1996, Terry Kunes buying the track in 2002 and, finally, Gregg (son of John) and Angie McKarns gaining ownership of the track in 2015.
The track hosts weekly racing every summer, headlined by the late model division. Among those who have won track titles at Madison are Dick Trickle, Joe Shear, Rich Bickle and Matt Kenseth.
The track is visited multiple times each season by the ARCA Midwest Tour, with the ARCA Menards Series also a regular visitor. The track has previously hosted the USAC Silver Crown Series as well.