The forgotten Norfolk Speedway

Aldo Canzian
@aldo-canzian
3 years ago
15 posts

I noticed in the world wide web that there are just few data about the Norfolk Speedwa y in which NASCAR Grand National Division raced in 1956 and 1957 (Billy Myers and Buck Baker the winners). There were also four NASCAR Convertible Division races (one in 1956 and three in 1957). It was a one third mile dirt track.

Someone know the exact place of that track?


updated by @aldo-canzian: 12/05/16 04:00:58PM
Robert Mitchell
@robert-mitchell
3 years ago
327 posts

Hi Aldo,

I looked around on EarthExplorer and found a Feb. 10th, 1955 aerial showing a track, actually two tracks at the southeast corner of North Military Hwy and Lowery Rd. where today there's a Walmart. One track looks to be a half mile dirt track, and to it's right looks like a paved quarter-mile track. Could this be Norfolk Speedway?

Aldo Canzian
@aldo-canzian
3 years ago
15 posts

Thanks. Looking at historicalaerials.com, there's a 1958 topographic map in whick the speedway is noted as "abandoned" so I think you are right. My goal is to know the exact place of all NASCAR Strictly Stock Grand National Winston Nextel Sprint Cup Division Series tracks.

Robert Mitchell
@robert-mitchell
3 years ago
327 posts

I would still like to hear from someone who knows for sure if it is or isn't Norfolk Speedway. Being that they had races in 1956 & '57 but this topographic map says it's already abandon in 1958 makes me have doubts. Topographic maps usually lag behind a few years in details that specific as to whether a racetrack is abandoned. I don't think we can say for sure if it's the track at this point.

Johnny Mallonee
@johnny-mallonee
3 years ago
3,259 posts

Yall getting good at actually locating these long gone ghost tracks of yesteryear.

Here is mine from the middle 60s -- a 5/8 mile dirt track that was way fast, located just south of McRae GA Displaying GoogleEarth_Image.jpgDisplaying GoogleEarth_Image.jpg

Dennis  Garrett
@dennis-garrett
3 years ago
560 posts

#1. NorfolkSpeedway10Feb1955 (3)TRACKS IN PHOTO.

#2. NorfolkSpeedway10Feb1955 (1) SMALL TRACK INSIDE (LEFT) BIG TRACK IN PHOTO.

HISTORY OF AMERICA'S SPEEDWAYS PAST & PRESENT HAS AN LISTING FOR:
NORFOLK SPEEDWAY - NORFOLK,VA. - 4/10 MILE DIRT OVAL (c.1949), (c.8/22/1956-7/24/57).

HAS FUNNY LOOKING DIFFERENT LISTINGS FOR PRINCESS ANNE SPEEDWAY, NORFOLK,VA.? :
#1. 1/2 MILE DIRT OVAL (1930's),
1/4 MILE PAVED OVAL (1946-c.9/20/1949) (8/14/1951 -c.7/25/1954
1/2 MILE DIRT OVAL (1950-c.1954) / LOCATED AT WATERWORKS ROAD.

#2. 1/4 MILE DIRT OVAL (4/02/1950-1951) / LOCATED AT THE OLD AGRICADE FAIRGOUNDS SOLD FOR HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN 1955 / NOW SITE OF A SHOPPING CENTER.

Aldo Canzian
@aldo-canzian
3 years ago
15 posts

Princess Ann Speedway was actually in Virginia Beach, Va, not Norfolk, Va, near Princess Ann town. I read somewhere that the track is now a shopping center but i think the track was at the cross between Dam Neck Road and Taylor Farm Road. The track is now a private park or at least that seems to be.

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
3 years ago
9,126 posts

A couple of items from the website LittleJoeWeatherly.com regarding Norfolk & Virginia Beach tracks:

Virginia Beach Speedway: A 3/8 mile sand oval built on the intersection of Witchduck Road and Virginia Beach Boulevard in 1948. It was used through until 1960, and was also known as Joe Weatherly Speedway and Chinese Corner Speedway.


Chinese Corner Speedway. Thats a track that Joe Weatherly and Paul Sawyer (of Richmond International track fame) promoted.

Norfolk had two racetracks in the '40s: Virginia Beach and Princess Anne speedways. About this time Paul Sawyer started building race cars with an early NASCAR star and fellow Norfolkian and Virginia native, Joe Weatherly. In the early '50s, Weatherly asked Sawyer to invest in a speedway in Wilson, N.C. and Virginia Beach. With a $5,000 investment, Sawyer took the raceway ownership, management and promotional plunge. Sawyer bought Joe Weatherly out in 1956.

Sawyer also became involved in the Virginia Beach Speedway on Virginia Beach Boulevard near Witchduck Road, and in 1955, Sawyer joined Weatherly as co-owner of Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway (aka Atlantic Rural Fairgrounds") - the humble dirt-track precursor of today's 83,000-seat facility. The Virginia Beach speedway was also promoted as the Joe Weatherly Speedway.

By 1960, events conspired to cause Sawyer to sharpen his focus on Richmond. On Easter Sunday 1958, a fire wiped out the Wilson track, and by 1960, escalating rents at the Virginia Beach speedway and lack of expansion space for parking made its continued operation unfeasible.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Aldo Canzian
@aldo-canzian
3 years ago
15 posts

The 1958 topographic map shows the speedway near the Chinese Corner.

Fortunately, the place is now a "drug free aerea". It seems there was a shopping center there.

Aldo Canzian
@aldo-canzian
3 years ago
15 posts

From earthexplorer.usgs.gov, this is a 1959 pic from Princess Ann Speedway on Dam Neck Road.

This is Virginia Beach Speedway (Chinese Corner) on North Witchduck Road (1959):

Dennis  Garrett
@dennis-garrett
3 years ago
560 posts

DAVE,
DO YOU KNOW IF PAUL OR JOE BOUGHT NORFOLK SPEEDWAY OR THERE WAS TWO TRACKS NAMED PRINCESS ANN SPEEDWAY /PRINCESS ANNE SPEEDWAY IN THE NORFOLK AREA?

WHERE IS NORFOLK SPEEDWAY?
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
3 years ago
9,126 posts

Dennis, I don't know. I wish I knew more about the history of the Norfolk and Virginia Beach tracks.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dennis  Garrett
@dennis-garrett
3 years ago
560 posts

WITH ALL THE RUMOR TALES OF LATE 80s OF MOVING THE LOCATION OF RICHMOND AREA RACE TRACKS OF RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, LOCATED IN HENRICO COUNTY,VA. TO ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY,VA AND SOUTHSIDE SPEEDWAY IN CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA.. TO NEW KENT COUNTY,VA

WONDER IF THEIR NAMES WOULD STILL BE RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY AND SOUTHSIDE SPEEDWAY ?

Aldo Canzian
@aldo-canzian
3 years ago
15 posts

There were three speedways in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area.

Actually the only speedway in Norfolk was on the site in which JANAF shopping centers is now (intersections of North Militay Road, East Virginia Beach Boulevard and Lowery Road). I think this one was Norfolk Speedway.

In the intersection between North Witchduck Road and Virginia Boulevard, the was another speedway often called Chinese Corner. I think this one was Virginia Beach Speedway. This one is actually in Virginia Beach.

Going futher away from Norfolk, always in Virginia Beach, there was an oval near the intersection between Dam Neck Road and Taylor Farm Road. This is near Princess Anne town, so I suppose this was Princess Anne Speedway.

Greg Fielden's NASCAR Encyclopedia says Princess Anne Speedway is now a shopping center but i think that's wrong.

NASCAR raced in the first and third tracks.

Do you think all these I said could be right?

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
3 years ago
9,126 posts

Dennis, there is no way the proposed Isle of Wight County, Virginia racetrack would have carried the Richmond name. 8 Hampton Roads localities under the umbrella of the Hampton Roads Sports Authority in 1986 pledged $20 million for a 1-3/4 mile track to be operated by promoter, Paul Sawyer.

In a meeting with the 8 localities, NASCAR president, Bill France, Jr. refused to offer more than a year-to-year sanction and the entire deal collapsed. Paul then built Richmond International Raceway which opened in September 1988.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
3 years ago
9,126 posts

Don't forget, also, there were two other tracks that ran NASCAR Grand Nationalraces in the Hampton Roads / Tidewater area that included Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Just south, across the Virginia/North Carolina border was Moyock Dog Track Speedway and to the north, across Hampton Roads Harbor was Langley Field Speedway, originally known as Dude Ranch Speedway. And not far to the west of Norfolk and Virginia Beach, the "outlaw" dirt Peanut City Speedway operated in Suffolk.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Larry Jendras Jr.
@larry-jendras-jr
3 years ago
5 posts

I found a Princess Anne program cover online and at the top it said Kempsville Rd. near Waterworks Rd. in Norfolk Va.

Looking at a current map puts it near the Princess Anne Park. Hope this helps.

Aldo Canzian
@aldo-canzian
3 years ago
15 posts

Can you show that program cover please?

So, Kempsville Road is just behind JANAF shopping center, the one I call "Norfolk Speedway". This is what Greg Fielden said in his books.

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
3 years ago
9,126 posts

In 1954, Princess Anne Speedway beat the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In the condensed judge's ruling, however, he made a statement (hi-lited) that could apply to most racetracks of the era:

54-2 USTC 9627] United States of America , Plaintiff, v. Princess Anne Speedway, Inc., Jordan A. Pugh, III, Earl W. Johnson, Defendants
In the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk Division, Civil Action No. 1767, September 28, 1954

[1939 Code Sec. 3710--same as 1954 Sec. 6332]



Distraint: Necessity for notice of levy and demand.--The United States did not use the proper form for final notice and demand prior to distraint. The District Court held that the failure of the government to levy upon funds in the hands of a creditor of taxpayer precluded it from collecting, under 1939 Code Sec. 3710, certain excise, withholding and social security taxes.

L. S. Parsons, Jr., United States Attorney, 307 Post Office and Court House Building, Norfolk, Virginia, for plaintiff. P. A. Agelasto, Jr., 502 Citizens Bank Building, Norfolk , Virginia , for defendants Jordan H. Pugh, III, et al.
Before HOFFMAN, District Judge.
Opinion from the Bench
(At the conclusion of the evidence and after the arguments of counsel, the Court gave the following oral opinion):
THE COURT: Civil Action No. 1767, in which the United States of America seeks to recover from Princess Anne Speedway, Inc., Jordan A. Pugh, III, and Earl W. Johnson certain taxes alleged to have been due by the corporation known as Princess Anne Speedway, Inc., it appears that the Court has heretofore entered judgment against Princess Anne Speedway, Inc., on the 20th day of May, 1954, same having been by default. Process was never served upon the defendant, Earl W. Johnson, sometimes referred to, I think, as W. Earl Johnson, and he, therefore, is not before the Court. This proceeding remains against Jordan A. Pugh, III, who is alleged by the Government to be the stakeholder of the sum of $800.00. It appears that the corporation known as Princess Anne Speedway, Inc., operated in a very loose manner ever since its incorporation and that it was the lessee from William F. Hudgins and others for certain property located in Princess Anne County, where stock car races and other similar events were held.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"

updated by @dave-fulton: 03/24/17 04:42:02PM
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
3 years ago
9,126 posts




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
3 years ago
9,126 posts

The new Agricade Fairgrounds, which opened around 1947 was apparently the site of Princess Anne Speedway and Princess Anne Park. First auto races there were midgets promoted by Sherman "Red" Crise.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
3 years ago
9,126 posts

The text below is excerpted from the book, Norfolk, Virginia: Evolution of a City in Maps -




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dennis  Garrett
@dennis-garrett
3 years ago
560 posts

AFTER LOOKING AT THE Ralph Rose Scrapbooks / RACE PROGRAMS Submitted by June Rose Hudgins, THERE MAY HAVE BEEN AT LEAST (2) DIFFERENT PRINCESS ANNE SPEEDWAYS?

1952 PRINCESS ANNE SPEEDWAY PROGRAM
KEMPSVILLE ROAD NEAR WATERWORKS ROAD
VOL.1 NO.1 SUNDAY MAY 18, 1952 PRICE 10 CENTS

http://www.thevintageracer.com/rose/rosev2_003.htm

==================================================
http://www.thevintageracer.com/rose/rosev2_004.htm

==================================================
1951 PRINCESS ANNE SPEEDWAY PROGRAM
MILITARY HIGHWAY
NORFOLK,VA.
RED CRISE MANAGING DIRECTOR
http://www.thevintageracer.com/rose/rosev2_006.htm
http://www.thevintageracer.com/rose/rosev2_007.htm
==================================================
DOG TRACK SPEEDWAY PROGRAM
LOCATED IN MOYOCK,NC
http://www.thevintageracer.com/rose/rosev2_011.htm
June writes:

"I decided to highlight some of the more familiar tracks that Ralph raced at over the years. Some will be well known, while others may only be remembered by those who were loyal fans.

This is a program from "The Dog Track" located in Moyock, NC just south of the Virginia state line on route 168. It had originally been built by two businessmen from Norfolk, VA and operated as a dog racing venue.
========================================================================
1953 PRINCESS ANNE SPEEDWAY PROGRAM
JOE WEATHERLY PROMOTIONS
http://www.thevintageracer.com/rose/rosev2_013.htm
http://www.thevintageracer.com/rose/rosev2_014.htm
========================================================================
MIDGET AND STOCK CAR RACES PROGRAM 15 CENTS
1950's Princess Anne Program
http://www.thevintageracer.com/rose/rosev2_016.htm
========================================================================
NUBAR SPEEDWAYS PROGRAM PRESENTS STOCK CAR RACING 25 CENTS
http://www.thevintageracer.com/rose/rosev2_017.htm
June writes:
"NUBAR" was considered an outlaw series that ran in the early 60's. It stood for "National Union for Better Auto Racing", and Jim Creech was the GM.
The picture on the front of that one shows #37, Butch Torrie, which was taken at the Chinese Corner Speedway, formerly known as the Virginia Beach Speedway."
========================================================================
VIRGINIA PENINSULA SPEEDWAY PROGRAM
STOCK CAR RACES
HAMPTON, VIRGINIA
http://www.thevintageracer.com/rose/rosev2_019.htm
June writes:
"It started as the Virginia Peninsula Speedway, then the Dude Ranch Speedway, then Langley Field Speedway, now known as Langley Speedway.
========================================================================
CHINESE CORNER SPEEDWAY PROGRAM 50 CENTS
OCT.25,1959
http://www.thevintageracer.com/rose/rosev2_020.htm

========================================================================
PEANUT CITY SPEEDWAY PROGRAM
PRESNTS THE SECOND GRAND PRIX
NUBAR SANCTIONED
http://www.thevintageracer.com/rose/rosev2_023.htm
June writes:
"This track was located at an old fairgrounds in Suffolk, VA. Some of the best dirt racing I've ever seen, and with the Sportsman Speedway outside of Elizabeth City, NC.
Oh, they were ALL the best dirt racing I've ever seen!!"
========================================================================
http://www.thevintageracer.com/rose/rose_002.htm========================================================================

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
3 years ago
9,126 posts

In 1963, after a successful referendum in both Virginia Beach and Princess Anne County, and with the approval of the Virginia General Assembly, Virginia Beach and Princess Anne County merged to form the present-day independent city of Virginia Beach. About the same time, Norfolk County merged with the small independent City of South Norfolk. The independent city that resulted from that merger, Chesapeake, became Virginia Beach's new neighbor to the southwest.

Most of the area formerly in the County of Princess Anne when it was formed in 1691 is now located within the independent City of Virginia Beach. The only exceptions are some territory of the northwestern portion which became part of the City of Norfolk through annexation and a land swap agreement between the two cities in 1988.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Aldo Canzian
@aldo-canzian
3 years ago
15 posts

Maybe, sometimes the adress of Princess Anne Speedway is indicated in Military highway and some other times in Kempsville Road just because there are two different way to access the speedway. Both roads are connected by Lowery Road.

Dennis  Garrett
@dennis-garrett
3 years ago
560 posts

#1. 1952 PRINCESS ANNE SPEEDWAY PROGRAM

#2a. 1951 PRINCESS ANNE SPEEDWAY PROGRAM

#2b. 1951 PRINCESS ANNE SPEEDWAY PROGRAM

#3a. 1953 PRINCESS ANNE SPEEDWAY PROGRAM

#3b. 1953 PRINCESS ANNE SPEEDWAY PROGRAM

Aldo Canzian
@aldo-canzian
3 years ago
15 posts

What about this? I found an oval track south of Norfolk, in Chesapeake, on South Military Highway. 1959 aerial photo shows this track even if it seems a little bit tight to be properly a speedway. The place is just after Indian River Park. Nowadays it is at the intersection of Smith Avenue and Live Oak Drive.

Aldo Canzian
@aldo-canzian
3 years ago
15 posts

I read something more from here:

http://bench-racing.blogspot.it/2015/10/october-13-1957-gwyn-staley-nabs-norfolk.html

"Then with three races to go in the 1957 season, the ragtops rolled into Virginia for a 250-lap race on the 4/10-mile, dirt Virginia Beach Speedway. (The track, built in 1947, seems to have gone through a a series of name changes over the years including Chinese Corner Speedway, Weatherly Speedway and Norfolk Speedway.)"

So I guess the research should be focused on this last track to get the answer.

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
3 years ago
9,126 posts

Aldo, the piece you quote is from the blog series "Bench Racing from the Volunteer State" by our own RacersReunion member and contributor, TMC-Chase:

http://stockcar.racersreunion.com/profile/toomuchcountry?xg_source=activity




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
DIrtshooter
@dirtshooter
2 years ago
16 posts

A few questions about Four County Fairgrounds & Peanut City Speedway. The info that I can find has Four County as a 1/2 mile that ran up through the mid-50s. Peanut City was a 1/3 mile that ran one year 1960. I found the attributed location (#1) between E Washington St., S 12th St & the railroad tracks. However this measures only 35 feet wide, also no room for spectating, parking, or outside pits. However,there was a 50' wide 1/2 mile oval just south of the above mentioned site(#2). It had plenty of room for everything. I also found listings for livestock auctions at the fairground during the 50s "in the stockyard. Site #2 was lost to a subdivision by 1967-68. The aerial below is dated 1-30-53. Does anyone have any firsthand knowledge of these two tracks?

Four County Fairground.png




--
Like my Daddy always said, "If ya gonna be dumb, Ya gotta be TOUGH!"
Booberry82
@booberry82
one month ago
3 posts

There is a speedway that shows up on the USGS 1955 map that is only a few miles out of Princess Anne on Princess Anne Rd.  It was a path on the 65 and 71 maps.  It is on PA Hwy just WE of Twinflower Lane.  Still in the bushes and not developed.