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: Belleville High Banks
Address: 1499 7th St., Belleville, KS 66935
History: Like many similar tracks of the time period, the Belleville High Banks started life as a horse racing track before eventually evolving into a popular venue for dirt-track racing.
The first auto race on the Belleville High Banks took place on July 4, 1910. The race, which featured three cars battling for 10 laps, saw at least 7,000 fans pack the stands. Auto racing soon became a regular sight at the half-mile venue.
Located on the fairgrounds in Belleville, Kan., and managed by the Fair Amusements Committee, the track has played host to a number of auto racing’s greatest stars throughout the years. Stan Fox, Sleepy Tripp, Chuck Gurney and Jeff Gordon are just a handful of those known to have raced and won at the Belleville High Banks.
For 40 years the track hosted the Belleville Midget Nationals, which attracted the best midget racers from all over the United States. Eddie Jackson won the inaugural event in 1978, with recent stars such as Christopher Bell, Kyle Larson, Kasey Kahne, Bryan Clauson, Brad Sweet, Dave Darland and Jerry Coons Jr. claiming Belleville Nationals titles.
Following the 2017 edition of the Belleville Midget Nationals, which was won by Spencer Bayston, the decision was made to change gears, with 2018 seeing the introduction of the 305 Sprint Nationals. Jake Bubak won the first two editions of the 305 Sprint Nationals.
The 305 Sprint Nationals is the only racing event held at the Belleville High Banks at this time. The event helps keep the racing heritage of the track, which dates back more than 100 years, alive in the local community. The 2020 edition of the event is slated for July 31-Aug. 1.