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Canfield Speedway is a half mile dirt oval racetrack that hosted (major) sanctioned auto racing from 1950 to 1964, but other associations ran until the late 1970s. There was also a 1/4 mile dirt racing surface that shared the front stretch with the 1/2 mile track. It was used until the track was closed to auto racing in 1973. Attendance varied from 30,000 people for larger events to 10,000 people for ones of less significance. The track is located at the Canfield Fairgrounds in Canfield, Ohio, and is still in use today, primarily during the Canfield Fair.

Canfield Speedway
Canfield Fairgrounds Speedway
LocationCanfield Township, Mahoning County, Ohio, at 7265 Columbiana-Canfield Road, Canfield Fairgrounds, Ohio 44406
Time zoneGMT-5
Capacity40,000+
OwnerThe Mahoning County Agricultural Society
OperatorThe Canfield Fairgrounds
Broke ground194?
Opened1949
Closed1973 to autos
Construction cost$?
ArchitectMahoning County Agricultural Society
Former namesCanfield Fairgrounds Speedway
Major eventsNASCAR Grand National Series The Poor Man's 500
Oval
SurfaceDirt
Length.5 mi (.805 km)
Turns4
Banking15° Turns
8° Front Stretch
12° Back straightaway
Race lap record58.102mph (time N/A) (Bill Rexford, Julian Buesink, 1951, NASCAR Grand National Series)
Oval
SurfaceDirt
Length.25 mi (.4025 km)
Turns4
Banking5° in turns
0° in straights
Race lap record0:15.210 (Iggy Katona, Iggy Katona, 1951, NASCAR Short Track Series)
Oval
SurfaceAsphalt
Length.25 mi (.4025 km)
Turns4
Banking8° in turns
5° in straights
Race lap record0:14.046 (Mike Klapak, Mike Klapak, 1964, ARCA)
Oval
SurfaceDirt
Length.5 mi (.805 km)
Turns4
Banking10° in turns
5° in straights
Race lap record0:14.046 (Harold Smith, Harold Smith, 1961, ARCA)

HistoryEdit

The original promoter of auto racing in Canfield was Charlie Findlay and then his nephew George C. Findlay in the early 1960s. It was Charlie that had close ties with Johnny Marcum, (MARC) Midwest Association of Racing Cars and Canfield Speedway was the priority track. In 1964 ARCA took over MARC as the desire for dirt tracks died out.

RacesEdit

It was on the NASCAR Grand National Schedule for three years from 1950-1952 hosting one event annually over that time period. The NASCAR Grand National and Short Track series competed there as well as ARCA and USAC. The Grand National events were 200 laps and 100 miles (160 km) long. The Short Track Race was 100 laps and the track was 1/4-mile long making the race 25 miles (40 km). The ARCA races were either 100 laps on the 1/4-mile or 200, 250, or 300 laps on the 1/2-mile as the track had two different configurations. Some of the events used the inverted start with the pole qualifier starting last. Both USAC races were 100 laps on the quarter mile configuration.

RecordsEdit

The quickest laps recorded in sanctioned events were just under the 24 second mark with cars averaging 60 mph (97 km/h) around the speedway on the half mile configuration. On the quarter mile quick time was under 16 seconds and cars averaged 55 mph (89 km/h). The NASCAR pole record is 54.233 mph (87.280 km/h) and the race record is 48.057 mph 2:04:51. The record for cautions is 4 and smallest margin of victory 4 feet (1.2 m) and the largest 3 laps. The largest purse was $4350 and the most lead changes was 2.


Table of NASCAR Sanctioned EventsEdit

Date Event Name Series Race Winner Pole
May 30, 1950 (none) NASCAR Grand National Bill Rexford Jimmy Florian
May 30, 1951 Poor Man's 500 NASCAR Grand National Marshall Teague Bill Rexford
September 27, 1951 ----- NASCAR Short Track Lloyd Moore Iggy Katona
May 30, 1952 Poor Man's 500 NASCAR Grand National Herb Thomas Dick Rathmann

Table of ARCA & USAC EventsEdit

Date Series Winner
May 30, 1953 ARCA Stock Car Jim Romine
August 8, 1953 ARCA Stock Car Jim Romine
May 31, 1954 ARCA Stock Car Buckie Sager
June 26, 1954 ARCA Stock Car Bob Pronger
July 17, 1954 ARCA Stock Car Don Oldenberg
August 7, 1954 ARCA Stock Car Russ Hepler
April 23, 1955 ARCA Stock Car Jim Romine
May 30, 1955 ARCA Stock Car Jim Romine
June 25, 1955 ARCA Stock Car Russ Hepler
July 30, 1955 ARCA Stock Car Bill Lutz
August 20, 1955 ARCA Stock Car Jim Romine
September 17, 1955 ARCA Stock Car Mike Klapak
October 1, 1955 ARCA Stock Car Jim Romine
May 30, 1956 ARCA Stock Car Darel Dieringer
June 23, 1956 ARCA Stock Car Russ Hepler
July 14, 1956 ARCA Stock Car Jack Farris
August 11, 1956 ARCA Stock Car Jim Romine
September 22, 1956 ARCA Stock Car Bob James
April 20, 1957 ARCA Stock Car Jack Farris
April 27, 1957 ARCA Stock Car Iggy Katona
May 30, 1957 ARCA Stock Car Jack Farris
July 4, 1957 ARCA Stock Car Jack Farris
July 27, 1957 ARCA Stock Car Bob James
August 17, 1957 ARCA Stock Car Nelson Stacy
September 21, 1957 ARCA Stock Car Roy Gemberling
April 26, 1958 ARCA Stock Car Bob James
May 30, 1958 ARCA Stock Car Les Snow
June 24, 1958 ARCA Stock Car Bob James
July 4, 1958 ARCA Stock Car Bob James
April 25, 1959 ARCA Stock Car Nelson Stacy
May 30, 1959 ARCA Stock Car Don White
July 4, 1959 ARCA Stock Car Bill Forney
August 1, 1959 ARCA Stock Car Bob James
August 14, 1959 USAC Midget Eddie Johnson
September 26, 1959 ARCA Stock Car Bob James
July 2, 1960 ARCA Stock Car Paul Parks
July 30, 1960 ARCA Stock Car Nelson Stacy
August 3, 1960 USAC Midget Bob McLean
September 18, 1960 ARCA Stock Car Nelson Stacy
May 30, 1961 ARCA Stock Car Harold Smith
September 17, 1961 ARCA Stock Car Kenny Reeder
April 21, 1962 ARCA Stock Car Dick Freeman
May 30, 1962 ARCA Stock Car Harold Smith
May 30, 1963 ARCA Stock Car Jack Bowsher
May 29, 1964 ARCA Stock Car Earl Balmer

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1950 Race #5 Top 5 Results for First RaceEdit

1. Bill Rexford 200 Laps $1,470 80 Led
2. Glenn Dunaway 198 $750
3. Lloyd Moore 198 $500
4. Lee Petty 195 $400
5. Bill Blair 195 $300

Bill RexfordEdit

Bill Rexford won the inaugural event (later known as the Poor Man's 500) and went on to take the Grand National Championship that year in 1950. He was the youngest diver to win the championship in what is now the Sprint Cup Series. He was aided to the championship when Lee Petty was stripped of some points for racing in non-NASCAR sanctioned events. His only lead lap finish in his career was at Canfield Speedway (when he won). His only career pole came at Canfield Speedway the following year in 1951. He was the 1st of 6 drivers to win a championship without winning a pole in that season. He is 1 of 4 drivers to win a championship with only 1 win that season (nobody has won with 0 wins). In the three grand national races only 4 cars combined finished on the lead lap.

ReferencesEdit

SourcesEdit