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Jul 05, 2014 - 06:21 AM
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New Historical Marker Commemorates Winchester Speedway's 100th Birthday
Posted by: newsla on Jul 05, 2014 - 06:21 AM
New Historical Marker Commemorates Winchester Speedway's 100th Birthday

Winchester Speedway's grand heritage was commemorated Friday afternoon with a historical marker that calls the track "daunting."


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"And, we hope this daunting facility can thrill race fans for another 100 years," said Gary Lee, who announced races at the track in the 1980s and 1990s.

Lee is part of the Indiana Racing Memorial Association, formed earlier this year by a group of longtime race enthusiasts. The group's first historical marker was unveiled at Winchester Speedway, a national racing treasure that is celebrating its 100th anniversary this weekend, climaxing with the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race at 2 p.m. Sunday.

"This track is an important part of the racing industry and the racing legacy," Winchester Mayor Steve D. Croyle said.

Winchester has long attracted some of the greatest names in racing, drivers such as Indy 500 winners Troy Ruttman, AJ Foyt, Parnelli (Jones), Al and Bobby Unser. In recent times, drivers likes Sarah Fisher, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman and Kasey Kahne have taken to the track."

Before unveiling the plaque, Lee, former ESPN "Thursday Night Thunder" announcer, talked about Winchester's history. The track was once a pre-requisite to racing in the Indianapolis 500, he said.

"It's very, very unusual for a race track to get to 50 years, let alone 100," Lee added.

National Sprint Car Hall of Fame member Jack Hewitt lives about an hour from the track and was among the speakers before the unveiling. He said he's been to 300 tracks across the United States and even Australia and none are like Winchester.

"It's a home track," Hewitt said. "You don't have to win one here to have it in your memory bank. ... I am so proud that I got to race here."

The weekend's Grand Marshal, Merle Bettenhausen, said the track has been an important part of his family for six decades.

"It's a track that you love and hate at the same time," he said. "I hope it lives another 100 years."

Besides its unique USAC background, Winchester has been on the ARCA Racing Series schedule since 1957. This weekend's Herr's Chase The Taste 200 marks the 25th silver anniversary appearance of ARCA over the decades.

"Winchester needs to stay a race track and we're committed to it," ARCA President Ron Drager said.

By Doug Donnelly, arcaracing.com

Winchester Speedway July 4-5-6 Holiday Freedom Festival

Winchester celebrates 100 years; Fourth of July holiday weekend Winchester Freedom Fest July 4-5-6; Festival blends Vintage Cars Old Timers Reunion with 62-year-old ARCA Tour

It's time to celebrate 100 years of Winchester Speedway this holiday weekend...starring the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards and so much, much more.

In addition to a King of the Wing winged sprinter opener Friday night that kicks off three days of on-track excitement, the Winchester Speedway Old Timers Reunion will be on hand all three days with as many 60 vintage racecars dating back to the early 1900's. The unique display of a century of history will blend nicely with the ARCA Racing Series, which made its first Winchester appearance in 1957.

Winchester Speedway Timeline (July 4-5-6)

Friday Schedule
1:00 - Dedication Ceremony with Historical Sign on entrance/access road to track off US 32.
3:00 - ARCA Hauler Parade through town to track
3:00-3:45 - Winged Sprint Practice
3:45-4:15 - Winchester Speedway Old Timers Reunion Practice (Vintage Racecars On Track)
4:15-5:00 - Winged Sprint Final Practice
6:00-6:30 - Winged Sprints Qualifying
6:30-7:15 - Winged Sprint Drivers/Old Timers/Racing Celebrity Autograph Session
7:15-7:45 - Winged Sprint Car Heats
7:45-8:15 - Winchester Speedway Old Timers Reunion Practice (Vintage Racecars On Track)
8:30 - King of the Wing 40-lap Feature
9:30 - Fireworks

Saturday Schedule
12-12:45 - ARCA Racing Series Practice
1:00-1:30 - Top Speed Modified Tour Practice
1:45-2:30 - ARCA Racing Series Final Practice
2:35-3:05 - Top Speed Modified Final Practice
3:15-3:45 - Winchester Speedway Old Timers Reunion Practice (Vintage Racecars On Track)
4:30 - Top Speed Modified Tour Qualifying
5:00 - ARCA Racing Series Menards Pole Qualifying
5:50 - Top Speed Modified Last Chance Race (if necessary)
6:15-6:45 - Winchester Speedway Old Timers Reunion Practice (Vintage Racecars On Track)
7:00 - Top Speed Modified Tour Feature Event

Herr's Chase The Taste 200 Live on CBS Sports Network Sunday
The 25th annual Herr's Chase The Taste 200 is live on the CBS Sports Network at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Sunday, July 6. Defending race winner and 10-time ARCA Racing Series champion Frank Kimmel, NASCAR/ARCA veteran Ken Schrader, current ARCA point leader Grant Enfinger, along with the other stars and cars of ARCA, are entered for the big show. ARCAracing.com will feature live timing & scoring of all ARCA on-track activities Saturday and Sunday.

Nashville Recording Artists Lucy Angel performing in pre-race Sunday
Fresh off the recording of their debut single 'CrazyToo', Nashville recording artists Lindsey, Kate & Emily of Lucy Angel will be performing live during pre-race activities.

Plenty of camping is available on site in order to enjoy the three-day holiday celebration.

Discount tickets will be available through Saturday for $20 each at Menards locations in Anderson, Fort Wayne East, Fort Wayne South, Fort Wayne West, Muncie and Richmond, Ind., plus stores in Celina, Sidney and Tipp City, Ohio. Race fans can save $10 by purchasing a single-day ticket, or $20 by purchasing a three-day ticket for $55.

Sunday Schedule
Lucy Angel Band to Kick Off On-Track Autograph Session
12:00-1:00 - On Track ARCA Racing Series Driver Autograph Session
1:30 - ARCA Pre-Race Ceremonies Begin...Leads to Driver Intros
2:15 - Start of ARCA Racing Series Herr's Chase The Taste 200

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