View Full Version : Carrell Speedway

Mitch G.
06-16-2009, 09:44 AM
Southern Los Angeles was a hot bed for auto racing going back to the 1920's. In the late 1940's early 50's there were several speedways within in minutes of one another, now they are all gone. Carrell Speedway was built at 174th st. and Vermont Ave in Gardena, CA. in 1940. Starting as a 1/2 mile dirt oval, and suffered parking and traffic issues the entire time the track operated. Carrell Speedway was the site of the first ever CRA (California Roadster Assoc.) event, this is the same club that became the California Racing Assoc. after switching to sprint cars as the old track roadsters faded out. Sept. 09, 1946 was the date of the CRA debut. Carrell Speedway was plagued with drainage problems, and often had a lake develop in the infield. The track owners and promoters developed a one mile dirt road course on the grounds, and ran a roadster and midget race on the road cousre in 1950. In 1948 the track was paved and ran a more regular weekly schedule of roadsters, stock cars, and midgets. Carrell operated until 1954. Real estate encroachment, land value, other problems led to the closing of the track. Budding AAA midget, and champ car driver Bobby Ball was involved in a serious midget crash in 1952 at Carrell, and passed away on 2/27/54
Aerial shot of Carrell Speedway, note the drive in movie theater right next door to the speedway, and the obvious parking problems for the speedway's fans.
Late 1940's midget action at Carrell
Early 1950's Stock cars coming out of turn 4, at Carrell Speedway
Here's a great shot, of 3 future Indy 500 drivers, Jim Rathman 1960 Indy 500 winner, is going backward, and over Don Freeland who also made the Indy 500 a few times, and Jack McGrath another many time Indy 500 starter goes by on the outside. 1947 CRA roadster race.
Great shot of CRA driver Jack Bayliss at Carrell, a classic track roadster. 1947
Even the best get into trouble, here 1950 Indy 500 winner Johnny Parsons Sr. gets upside down in Eddie Meyers midget, late 1940's before he hit the big time.
Early program from Carrell Speedway

06-16-2009, 10:31 AM
Man... those old roadsters are awesome, and those dudes had some massive cahones to race them.

NC Ghost Hunter
05-19-2011, 08:32 PM
Check the 1952 aerial @ historicaerials.com