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Race Tracks Everyone has their favorite race track(s) growing up as a kid. In this forum you can discuss your favorite old race track. Make sure to title your new thread with the name of the race track.



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Old 06-10-2011, 01:10 PM   #1
lakeside #29
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Default Shelly Park Speedway Idaho Springs, Co.

Shelly Park Speedway was located at the east end of Idaho Springs. According to the information in a 1962 program "Our track is one-fifth mile long with a 30 ft. bed of mine tailings, similar to clay. It has 348 ft. straights and 181 ft. curve radius, banked 4 ft."

The races were sanctioned by the Idaho Springs Auto Racing Club, Inc. and when I got the chance to attend they were held on Sunday afternoons. It was a lot of fun and had a real informal atmosphere. As I recall there were no grandstands and you watched from your car. The track used what appeared to be shortened telephone poles set in the ground and heavy cable as guard rail and there also was a go-kart track in the middle of the infield that was hard to see from the spectator area.

The program goes on to say "Our cars are stock American autos,1935 to 1948 models. The cars are changed only to be fire proof and completely safe. The motors are just the same as many on the road today. Stock car racing is the safest auto racing known and our record shows it is as exciting as any type."

The racing was fun, the place was dusty, there was plenty of action. The weekly program used a drawing of a race car that was vey similar to one on the cover of an Englewood Speedway program from 1955.

For the record I attended races in 1962 and had a hoot, heck we even had a car roll over right in front of us. Some of the drivers names were, #5 Walt Brewer, #62 Chuck Fisher, #86 Merle Starlin, #25 Marv Murray, #10 Junior Noble, and #7 Warren Oxser. The car that rolled was a '40 Plymouth #4 driven by a young guy named Roy R. When we were taking pictures after the races the guys seemed flattered that anybody would take the time to do that.

The weekly program that they sold was almost entirely hand drawn and lettered. It must have been a real job to set it up this way. It was really home spun. The race track is long gone but I believe the park is still there.



Chris Ertler - "professor coupe"

Last edited by lakeside #29; 06-10-2011 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 06-10-2011, 04:07 PM   #2
Jerry Lee
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Default Re: Shelly Park Speedway Idaho Springs, Co.

Thanks for posting this Chris! Indeed, this is the same track I had misidentified as "Shelby" in a post a couple of years ago. In fact, you must have been the one to show me the program from this track many years ago. I knew I had seen one, but couldn't remember where.

Thanks for setting the record straight Professor! I've always had a fascination with this old long lost track. It's not even mentioned in my 1996 version of "America's Speedways - Past & Present" book.

The few guys I talked to who remember running there told me they kept blowing out tires because of rocks that protruded from track surface.

Also, Ron Plumlee says he can add a little info about this track as well.....

Last edited by Jerry Lee; 06-10-2011 at 04:12 PM. Reason: Lunch!
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Old 06-10-2011, 04:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Shelly Park Speedway Idaho Springs, Co.

There is a picture from Shelly Park in the Cal Sherrill story that I posted on ARM.
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Old 06-10-2011, 06:16 PM   #4
Jerry Lee
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Default Re: Shelly Park Speedway Idaho Springs, Co.

Here is the photo that Bruce Rhoades (rapid 30) posted in the Cal Sherrill story, from the Rich Sherrill collection..........


That's Cal Sherrill in the #21 rounding the corner with a pack of other Stockers at
Shelly Park Speedway in Idaho Springs, CO. Early '60's.

Thanks Bruce!!!!
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Old 06-12-2011, 12:57 PM   #5
lakeside #29
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Default Re: Shelly Park Speedway Idaho Springs, Co.

Jerry Lee, Oh yeah the rocks. When we walked the track after the races they were all over. It didn't stop these guys from racing. This was one of the most fun, laid back, homespun tracks I ever visited. You can see from Bruce's photo of Cal Sherrill it was also one of the most scenic as well.



Chris Ertler - "professor coupe"

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Old 06-12-2011, 01:55 PM   #6
Jerry Lee
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Default Re: Shelly Park Speedway Idaho Springs, Co.

I get a kick out of the part where you watch the races from your car. Possibly one of America's long lost "Drive-In Race Tracks"???
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:18 PM   #7
Ron Plumlee
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Default Re: Shelly Park Speedway Idaho Springs, Co.

Have not posted for so long I may goof this up, but will try. There was a sentence in VORM years ago that said the Englewood modifieds ran a race in Idaho Springs.....so I followed up and by luck found a gentleman who actually helped start the track and raced there with great success. Mr. Carroll T. White was kind enough to share some time, photos and a program with me, which I will scan and post. Mr. White raced from 1958-1961. His old stocker was discovered behind a barn a mile from my sisters home not too long ago, and is now owned and vintage raced in Calif. by Bill Hair.

The Track, as already reported, was made of mine tailings. The original safety fence was made from tree posts and "borrowed" cable from the mines. Maintenance was by county road graders. The original track name was "Idaho Springs Speedway".

The "purse" was prizes such as a free fishing license, dinner for two, 5 gallons of gas, etc. No money. Cars were 1935-1948. One class only, but races were "A" or "B" based on time. The program I have is from 1959 and shows
at least 10 cars timed in, running 22.6 to 25.1. Four powder puffers timed in. There were eight race events that day. The ads in the wonderful hand drawn program represent 68 (sixty eight!) business ads. Talk about community involvement!

This got too wordy, will try to scan the program. If you want a copy, let me know, I will mail or email to you, it is a neat old program.
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:27 PM   #8
Jerry Lee
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Default Re: Shelly Park Speedway Idaho Springs, Co.

No, not too wordy at all Ron, there's some great information there! Can't wait to see some scans of the program.
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:42 AM   #9
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Default Re: Shelly Park Speedway Idaho Springs, Co.

I'd like more information on Shelly Park. I asked about it at the history museum in Idaho Springs a few years back, and they didn't know much. One man who raced at Lakeside in the early 1960's came from Idaho Springs and enjoyed the racing better here than at Shelly Park. He told me that the rule was that if you broke out one of the posts holding the "guard rail", which was wood, you had to come out during the week and replace it. They were real careful because of that. His name is Russ Sutherland.
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Old 11-24-2011, 11:05 AM   #10
Ron Plumlee
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Default Re: Shelly Park Speedway Idaho Springs, Co.

Hope this works....1st five pics of the Shelly Park 1959 program.. Ron P.

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