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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 08-23-2009, 10:49 PM   #1
GECCO
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Default Colorado Springs International Speedway

First, thanks for the great site...I've really been missing ColoradoRacingMemories.com and can't understand why it went away, but maybe we can pick up where it left off.

I "grew up" at CSIS, just east of Colorado Springs. We moved to the Springs in late 76 and Dad took us out there in the summer of 77. He met Mike Bonicelli and soon became Mike's crew chief, we're all still good friends to this day.

CSIS was built a just off Hwy 94, a few miles east of Peterson Air Force Base as the replacement for Pikes Peak Speedway, which was right near Powers and Platte (Hwy 24). I believe it opened in 76 (maybe 75?) and closed at the end of the 1985 season when the land was sold to a land developer...Frank Aries(?)

Besides Mike, here's some names that come to mind and may bring back some memories for you...
Paul Garrison (59)
John Metcalf (26)
Larry Carnes (96)
Richard Nelson (34)
Glen Bowers (42)
Rick Carelli (6)
Dave Young (98)
Bob Howard (4)
Gay Smith (20)
Harry Smith (15)
Tom Greiner (7)
Walt Smith (36)
Curtis...Young? (had only one leg)
The Eckhoff (sp?) brothers...can't remember their first names
Art Walsh - flagman
Beck Bechtlheimer (sp?) announcer

We won a lot of late model races there, in 84 we won every main event we entered, Mike had the championship locked up with 2 or 3 weekends left and took the rest of the season off. Lots of good memories...you were supposed to be 16 to get into the pits, but by the time I was 11 or 12 I proved valuable enough that I was smuggled in almost every weekend. Of course, my main value was that I was the only one on the crew young/small/limber/dumb enough to climb through the roll cage and clean the inside of the rear window so Mike could see LoL

Some not so good memories - Mike's throttle stuck one night on the back straight and he went flying out of turn 3 into the parking lot, landing in the back window of a Mustang hatchback that was parked in the firelane. Mike broke some ribs and maybe a wrist(?). The race car was heavily damaged and the Mustang was a total loss.

Some bad memories - during an open comp race, I think in 82, Doyle Stogner also had a throttle stick and went out of turn one, hit two wreckers and also hit and killed a visiting crew member from Cheyenne.

I have lots of unscanned photos at my folks house in the Springs (I live in Byers - managing High Plains Raceway now) and will try to get some in digi format soon.

The track still exists. I don't know how old the satellite photos are on google, but I saw it with my own eyes a couple years ago when we flew out of the Colorado Springs Airport. I can't post pics until I have 10 posts (?) but here are some satellite photos (maybe the mods can edit this post to have them link?).

Close up. You can see the wall along the front straight, the two concession stands, and the cement pad between them was the restrooms. If I heard correctly all the grandstands went to Beacon Hill (now I-25 Speedway) just north of Pueblo.


A bit further away, you can see the pit area north of the track, the 1/8 mile dragstrip to the east, and the rarely used off-road course to the south.


Here's another, just showing the location relative to Platte Ave and Hwy 94


I always tell myself that one of these days I'm gonna sneak out there, take some pics and reminisce a little...it's hard to believe its been gone for 25 years...as someone who was involved in HPR from the ground up and now nursing it through its infancy, it seems surreal to think that someday our grandkids may be writing the same thing about it...

Last edited by GECCO; 08-24-2009 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:55 AM   #2
GECCO
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Default Re: Colorado Springs International Speedway

Thanks, Olen. Looks like they got me all certified so I added the code for the pics to my original post...now I REALLY wanna get down there! LoL
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:48 PM   #3
Olen McGuire
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Default Re: Colorado Springs International Speedway

That's great GECCO,I'll just delete mine out.Glad you can get them in.~Olen
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:10 AM   #4
Lynn
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Default Re: Colorado Springs International Speedway

The CSIS stands are at the dragstrip at Pueblo Motorsports Park.

I was in the stands the night Mike dive bombed the Mustang. I didn't know he was hurt that bad.
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Old 09-05-2010, 06:40 PM   #5
klarmie
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Default Re: Colorado Springs International Speedway

I too was there the night the race car went off turn three into the parking lot. I was one of the drivers in the Wasson High School Ford and then the Chevelle that competed in the roadrunner division.
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:53 PM   #6
davidj3594
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Default Re: Colorado Springs International Speedway

ive been to the springs a few times and never saw that is it far from the road
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:35 PM   #7
Mike511
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Default Re: Colorado Springs International Speedway

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidj3594 View Post
ive been to the springs a few times and never saw that is it far from the road
Here's a few pics from the mid 70's, it was a nice fast track with excellent racing!!
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:23 PM   #8
ctrservice
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Default Re: Colorado Springs International Speedway

I'm looking for someone to help me with info about this track, things such as current owner or past owners, and some racer history, circle track, drag strip, road course etc. I would like to put out a nice article about it and the history when in operation. Would appreciate the help and info given about this once great facility.
J.T.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:59 PM   #9
Mike511
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Default Re: Colorado Springs International Speedway

I can give you some information, but the person to contact is Mike Bonicelli at Nevada Auto Sales in CO Spr. CO. He and his dad Joe built & owned the track from beginning to end. As I recall the Pikes Peak Stockcar Racing assoc. that ran the show at Pikes Peak Speedway 1/5 mile approached them to build a track because they wanted to run newer, faster cars on a larger track, then PPS would allow and they agreed. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but in hind sight maybe not! I would guess it opened in 74 or 75 and ran until mid 80's. Had some great open competition races, with the likes of Tom Refener, Jim Thurkettle, Roger Avantis, Don & Fritz Wilson, Wayne Stallworth, Odie Robertson, Ronny McDowell and many others (sorry for the misspelling of the names)!

I raced there one year in the #88 Nova and we won a championship with Mike Bonicelli's #8 Yeo Electric Camero car barely edging out Ronny McDowell #25 Mustang (2nd) & Dick Heikes #711 Camero (3rd), can't remember exact year maybe 75 or 76. It was, I believe, a 1/4 mile paved oval, they also had an 1/8 mile drag strip. I know Ray Daniels had at least one championship in the #80 Coors Light Mustang!

Great track to run at!!!
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:15 PM   #10
Mike511
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Default Re: Colorado Springs International Speedway

Here's some more CSIS pics I found...

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