Ascot Park (speedway)
|Owner||J. C. Agajanian|
|Operator||J. C. Agajanian|
|Closed||November 22, 1990|
|Former names||Los Angeles Speedway (1957)|
New Ascot Stadium (1958-1960)
|Major events||CRA |
NASCAR Grand National
AMA Grand National Championship
|outer oval track|
|Length||0.5 mi (0.8 km)|
|Length||0.2 mi (0.4 km)|
Los Angeles Speedway opened in 1957, on the site of a former city dump. It was built less than 1 mile (1.6 km) from the former site of Carrell Speedway, which had been closed in late 1954 to make way for the Artesia Freeway. The track was renamed to New Ascot Stadium in October 1958 to as part of a management change. The track assumed the name it held until its closure, Ascot Park in 1961.
With seating for only 7,500, Ascot Park was smaller than the other tracks of the area including the Ontario Motor Speedway (closed in 1980), and the Riverside International Raceway (closed in 1989). However, the park was equally well-known, due to its being surrounded by freeways for easy access, its regularly scheduled races, and its heavy radio advertising.
The half-mile course featured tight semi-banked turns, long straight-ways, and a tacky surface that was conducive to dramatic sprint car racing. Other motorsport events, such as Figure 8 racing and motorcycle flat track and TT racing, were also held at Ascot.
The dirt racetrack hosted races in the United States Auto Club (USAC) sprint car championship, the AMA Grand National Championship motorcycle series and was used in movies or TV shows like the original Gone in 60 Seconds, A Very Brady Christmas, T J Hooker and CHiPs. Ascot was also the site of the annual USAC Turkey Night Grand Prix midget race on Thanksgiving.
Though he began doing stunt jumps in 1966 at small venues such as fairs and carnivals, Evel Knievel (Robert Craig Knievel) gained international attention with his first televised jump on ABC’s Wide World of Sports at Ascot Park Raceway on March 25, 1967, successfully clearing 15 cars.
The 50th annual Turkey Night Grand Prix for USAC midget cars became the last of more than 5,000 main events held since the track opened. Ascot Park was closed in November 1990. It remained unused after a failed development project occupied the former site for a number of years. The track site was later replaced by an auto auction building and storage yard.
NASCAR race resultsEdit
Three NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup) events were held at the track. The 1957 event was held on the 0.5-mile (0.80 km) track. It was won by Eddie Pagan. The second NASCAR event was a 500 lap event on the 0.4-mile (0.64 km) track, and it was won by Parnelli Jones. The final event was held in 1961 on the 0.5-mile (0.80 km) track. Eddie Gray lapped the field for the win.
- Stein, John L. (February 20, 2012). "Ascot Park Reunion Set for May". Autoweek. 62 (4): 19.
- Wallace, Paul (1958-10-18). "Motor Sports". Independent. Retrieved 2019-07-28 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Evel's Connection to Ascot". Ascot Motor Sports. 20 June 2015. Retrieved 2016-06-08.
- Glick, Shav (November 11, 1990). "End of an Era : Ascot Park to Join Southland Tracks That Have Passed Into History". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-06-08.
- Ascot Stadium NASCAR results, Retrieved November 27, 2007