WINCHESTER, Ind. – The Indiana Racing Memorial Ass’n (IRMA), an organization dedicated to celebrating Indiana’s history in motorsports, dedicated the first of a series of historic markers today at the Winchester Speedway to mark the 100th anniversary of this storied race track.
“Hoosiers are rightfully proud that Indiana is known as the ‘Racing Capitol of the World’,” said noted motorsports announcer Gary Lee. “But very few are aware of the back story that gave Indiana this title. IRMA will draw attention to the rich details of our history by recognizing the people, events and historic race tracks that put us on the map. It is only fitting that our first historic marker should honor Winchester Speedway, a track that has symbolized the best, and most challenging, in racing for 100 years.”
“IRMA will fill in the canvas for Hoosiers and racing fans from across the country and around the world in two ways,” said Lee. “IRMA is launching today our website which will, as it grows, provide insight into the personalities and places that have made us the ‘Racing Capitol of the World.’ IRMA will also erect historic markers around the state each year to recognize significant locations that have played a role in our racing history.”
Joining Lee for the press conference were legendary driver Jack Hewitt, Winchester Mayor Steve D. Croyle, Winchester Speedway owner Charlie Shaw, ARCA President Ron Drager and Merle Bettenhausen, a retired driver and the Grand Marshall of the 100th Anniversary Weekend at Winchester, which has been dedicated in honor of the racing Bettenhausen family. Onlookers included drivers Jeff Bloom, Don Skaggs and Brent Whitted.
“We are pleased to unveil the design today for IRMA’s first race-themed historic marker, which will honor the 100th anniversary of the Winchester Speedway,” said Mayor Croyle. “As one of the most important historic short tracks in the nation, Winchester is known to be the highest banked active race track in the U.S. I am proud that Winchester is the first location to be honored by IRMA.”
Joining Lee, Croyle and Hewitt were IRMA board members Howdy Bell, David Bozell, Mark Eutsler, Bob Gates, Brian Hasler, Bob Lemons, Dick Mittman, and Brad Winters. Other members include champion driver Tom Bigelow, Bob Hills, Fred Nation, and Lee.