Wednesday, April 6, 2022 7:04 PM
WARSAW – With no physical remnants of the Warsaw Circuit, memorabilia are all that remains of a track that, at its peak, would bring more than 3,000 visitors a week to the community.
For those wishing to refresh their memory or perhaps find out more about one of Warsaw’s most famous attractions, the opportunity has arrived. The Kosciusko County Historical Society and Old Jail Museum has reopened for the season and is honoring the racetrack with its featured exhibit, “Remembering the Warsaw Speedway.”
With photos, helmets, uniforms and every other type of memorabilia one could think of, the exhibit hopes to showcase the 41-year history of the fast lane and keep it alive in the minds of those who cherished it. .
“My brother and I raced this track for eight years,” said Historical Society director Gregg Steffe. “It’s part of our local heritage, a weekly ritual. Some people had kids who grew up on this race track.
The speedway opened in 1949 and saw the evolution of the race car first hand, seeing jalopias, stock cars, sprint cars and many more compete in sprint car races.
Before closing its doors in 1990 following a lawsuit brought by seven local residents, the Warsaw circuit was home to many talented drivers, such as World of Outlaws greats Steve Kisner and former World Cup winner Bobby Allen. the Indy 500 Bill Holland and the NASCAR hall of famous Jeff Gordon. In addition to these well-known names, the course has also served as a starting point for a plethora of pilots starting their careers.
“It’s really significant that a small mud pit of a racetrack spawned such impressive talent,” Steffe said.
But whether these riders were just starting their professional careers or competing for the love of the game, the speedway was packed either way. Now the Historical Society also hopes to fill the exhibit.
In addition to the exhibition, the museum will also collaborate with First Fridays on June 3 for an open house. The event will include a reunion, vintage car display and book signing by Kim Gregory Baney, author of If Only Walls Could Talk, a historical look at the track.
“People remember the track very well and we saw this as an opportunity to bring back some of those memories,” Steffe said.
With memorabilia being all that remains of the historic site, the exhibit will be a popular venue this summer.
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