Lake Wood Speedway - Denver, NC - 1950

Robert Mitchell
@robert-mitchell
7 years ago
327 posts

An earlier post by Bobby Williamson about this 1950's track unfortunately didn't turn up any newinfo on where is was or articles on any races there, but it did get me lookingfor it when I had the time and I finally hit pay dirt, all one mile of it.

Lake Wood Speedway was located near Denver, NC on old (Business) Highway 16 a little over a mile north of the intersection of 16 &Highway 73 right on the edge of what is nowLake Norman.

According toan ad for the July 30, 1950 opening races, it was a new one mile track promoted by none other than the infamousBruton Smith, and had an ambitious slate ofone 125 mile Strictly Stock car race, and one 75 mile Modified race. No NASCAR sanction.

The track had a small pond in the infield and an odd wedge shape for turns 3 & 4, and is almost humorously similar to thefamous early Atlanta track of the same name, other than the two word spelling.And looking at the 1960 aerial photo it appears the track was active up until that year or at least closeto it.

Today two roads with houses, Cherry Point Drive and Lucky Creek Lane, almost perfectly follow the outline of the old racetrack with the pond still in the middle.

1960 aerial -

1960 aerial close-up showing the grandstands on the north straight-

1965 close-up -

1965 aerial-

Look how much Lake Norman has grown since 1960 -

Aerial of the track footprint today -


updated by @robert-mitchell: 07/11/19 11:08:28PM
Bobby Williamson
@bobby-williamson
7 years ago
907 posts

Good job, Robert!

Charles Craig
@charles-craig
7 years ago
57 posts

Robert and Bobby, I've got a pretty good photo of the track when it was in operation if you haven't seen it. Taken up close from the air, looking from turn 1 and 2 down the straits. It came from Glenn Dunaway's collection. I'll dig it out this week when I'm off if you aren't familiar with this photo.Charles Craig

Bobby Williamson
@bobby-williamson
7 years ago
907 posts

Love to see 'um, Charles!

Robert Mitchell
@robert-mitchell
7 years ago
327 posts

Thanks, Bobby. And thanks for the massive list of early tracks you've compiled over the years. Out of "the list" how many havebeen found so far? You should make a post of the list with the found tracks checked off. It's gotta be 100 you've already found!

Robert Mitchell
@robert-mitchell
7 years ago
327 posts

Charles, I can't wait to see that photo!

Charles Craig
@charles-craig
7 years ago
57 posts

I gave Bobby my email address in case I can't figure out how to post it. I'll scan it this week and get back with you and you can let everyone see it. It had large concrete stands and was very modern looking. I'll ask Harold Dunaway what he remembers about it too.

Bobby Williamson
@bobby-williamson
7 years ago
907 posts

Current Lake Wood aerial

Dennis Andrews
@dennis-andrews
7 years ago
835 posts

Charles, That is the same Harold Dunaway that ran some Grand Touring races in a #22 Camaro right? Would love to see a bio on him on RR as well as his dad, Glenn.

Robert Mitchell
@robert-mitchell
7 years ago
327 posts

I enjoyed the Ghost Track show Bobby, thanks for the Lake Wood mention!

One thing I wanted to mention... If you'll notice in the earliest 1960 aerial, Lake Norman wasn't even there at the time, just farm land and a good sized river about a mile to the west. Then, by the 1965 aerial Lake Norman was there. Apparently they had dammed up the river and formed the lake sometime between 1960 and 1965. A pretty staggering difference in the landscape in that 5 years, and luckily the tracks footprint survived right up the the edge.

Charles Craig
@charles-craig
7 years ago
57 posts

Yea, that's him. I hope to do some kind of bio on Harold and Glenn over the winter. Harold will be at my Cruise In on Oct. 13th. with lots more of the drivers from the 60's. Try to come. Also, read Ervin Carpenter's bio I did on "Ghosts of Southern Dirt Tracks".Charles Craig

Bobby Williamson
@bobby-williamson
7 years ago
907 posts

Than you, Robert!

Robert Mitchell
@robert-mitchell
7 years ago
327 posts

Charles Craig sent me these newspaper clips from Glenn Dunaway's personal scrapbook. Thanks to the Dunaway family.

Bobby Williamson
@bobby-williamson
7 years ago
907 posts

Good Stuff...thanks for posting, Robert!

DIrtshooter
@dirtshooter
3 months ago
24 posts

I finally found a good aerial of Lake Wood in 1950.

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Like my Daddy always said, "If ya gonna be dumb, Ya gotta be TOUGH!"