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I-70 Speedway was a racetrack near Interstate 70 east of Odessa, Missouri, USA. The track, first opened in 1969 and open yearly until its closure in 2008, is projected to be resurfaced with dirt and re-opened in 2020, under new ownership.[1]

I-70 Speedway
I70SpeedwayMap.svg
LocationWashington Township, Lafayette County, at 12773 North Outer Rd., Odessa, Missouri
Opened1969
Closed2008
Major eventsCraftsman Truck Series
1/2 Mile Asphalt Oval
Length0.54 mi (0.87 km)
Banking30° (corners), 4° (front), 7° (back)
Websitewww.i70speedway.net

HistoryEdit

The track was built and opened by Bill Roberts and other partners in 1969. Roberts had previously built and owned the Kansas City International Raceway dragstrip in Kansas City, Missouri.

Roberts sold I-70 Speedway to Greg Weld (of WELD wheels) sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s (?). Weld turned the track into a dirt track. Late in 1989 Roberts, who had continued holding the note on the track, repossessed I-70 Speedway from Weld. At that time, Roberts, along with sons Dennis and Randy, resurfaced the track with asphalt and got it NASCAR sanctioned. Roberts' third son Dan, a Kansas City area country music DJ on KFKF-FM and later a long-time announcer at Arrowhead Stadium, got his start in sports broadcasting at I-70 Speedway.

The track hosted NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races from 1995 to 1999. In 2006, a new 3/8 dirt track was built on the site. The asphalt track is a long 1/2 mile (0.54 mi). The back stretch has a small dog-leg. It is regarded as one of the fastest and highest banked short tracks in the nation. I-70 Speedway was also one of the first tracks to feature a prototypical SAFER barrier; during a World Cup race in the early 1990s, huge styrofoam blocks were placed high along the retaining wall in all four turns. All-Pro Series driver, and former NASCAR Rookie of the Year, Jody Ridley hit one of the blocks which sent him airborne over the wall in turn four upside down. Ridley walked away from the wreck, but this style of barrier was only used in a few more races at I-70.

I-70 was considered the "home" track of many NASCAR drivers such as Rusty Wallace, Clint Bowyer, and Larry Phillips. James Ince, who was Larry Phillips crew chief and later a NASCAR Crew Chief of the Year with Johnny Benson Jr., also started his career at I-70 Speedway. Other notable drivers who had driven there (not all of them on a full-time basis) included Mark Martin, Butch Miller, Bob Senneker, Dick Trickle, Mike Eddy, Johnny Benson Jr., Jamie McMurray, John O'Neal Jr., Terry Bivins, Jenny White, and Jennifer Jo Cobb. Short track driver Joe Shear once held the 4 barrel Late Model track record. Adam Petty, grandson of Richard Petty, once won an ASA race there.

Famous actor and race car driver Paul Newman rented the race track in 1990, while he was filming in the Kansas City area, for a private practice session. He drove some of the local race cars including that of the 1989 Late Model Track Champion, Jay Truelove.

Bill Roberts sold the track to Ted Carlson sometime in the mid-1990s. Carlson later sold the track to Brad McDonald. The track has hosted stock car racing and kart racing events. It used to offer a twin-billing Saturday night dirt track and asphalt track show. The dirt track is directly behind the original asphalt facility. The major asphalt event held at the track was the World Cup. This event first featured the All-Pro series, but in later years it featured the ASA Late Model Series (formerly known as ARTGO) North vs. South Showdown. On July 5, 2018 it was announced that both Kansas City International Raceway & I-70 Speedway were bought and would reopen in 2019 with the half mile asphalt oval at I-70 being converted to a dirt track with a drag strip to be included on the property.[2] After delays and negotiations with the Lafayette County, Missouri, the opening of the new complex is now projected to be in 2020.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Echlin, Greg. "The I-70 Speedway Can't Reopen Soon Enough For Business Owners in Odessa, Missouri". www.kcur.org. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  2. ^ https://www.facebook.com/HeartlandMotorsportsPark/posts/10157664208602627

External linksEdit