81 Speedway 7700 North Broadway Park City, Ks. 67219
Office Phone: 316-755-1781 Fax: 316-755-0665
Location: North of Wichita, Ks. on I-135 to exit 16, (Park City, Ks.) then .07 miles west on 77th St.
3/8ths semi bank oval
Camping is allowed but there are no hook-ups
Lights: Musco Sports Lighting. 81 Speedway is TV compatable
Promoter: C. Ray Hall
Publicity: Warren Hardy
Office: Mylisa Powers, Chuck Curl, Chris Smith
With a storied history behind itself, today the facility known as 81 Speedway, located in Park City, Ks, readies itself for its 59th year of hosting weekly dirt track auto racing events.
Built in 1954 on the outskirts of Wichita, Ks, the facility opened as Robbins Speedway and was a half-mile dirt oval. The speedway operated on Sunday nights for only four years before it was sold to Wichita businessman O.L. Douglas in 1958 who changed the name to its present 81 Speedway.
Douglas kept the half-mile oval operating on Sunday nights for five years, then sold the speedway to Bill Hall of Newton, Ks.
Hall's first move was to make the race track more manageable for weekly race programs. Hall did this by shortening the track from the half-mile down to a quarter mile. The speedway continued to run on Sunday nights only through 1965.
With the start of the '65 season, Hall moved to a two-night-a-week schedule with the speedway running Stock Cars on Saturday nights and the popular Super Modified on Sunday nights. During this time the track was undergoing a transition form the quarter mile Hall had turned it into when he purchased the facility to a larger 3/8ths oval which is what it is today.
In 1971, Bill Hall turned the daily operation of the speedway over to his son Charles Ray Hall, known to most people as C. Ray. The 2012 season will begin his 41st year as the head man in charge of daily operations.
After taking over daily operations from his father Bill, C. Ray continued to operate the speedway on its two-day-a-week schedule through 1978. With the start of the '79 season, Hall found it no longer feasible to operate the two-night-a-week schedule and dropped the Sunday night program.
In 1995, Hall formed a division that became nationally known as the Cruiser Cars. This two person team, with the driver operating the steering and brake while the passenger works the throttle, needed a night to compete on besides the regular Saturday night race program. "Thursty Thursday" became the night of choice through the sponsorship of the local Miller Beer Dist. and a local rock station. After a 17 year run as a regular division at the speedway, the Cruisers will be sidelined in 2012 to make way for the new entry level Hobby Stock division.
In 1995, Hall purchased the new Musco Sports Lighting System for the speedway. With its new and innovative way of lighting the legendary 3/8ths oval, the Musco Sports Lighting System is television compatible allowing the speedway to host live and tap delayed telecasts to date with ESPN, Speed Network, TNN, Fox and the Outdoor Channel.
Over the years, 81 Speedway has played host to virtually every traveling series that runs on dirt. From Monster Trucks to the Late Model sanctioning bodies of NDRA, NCRA, MARS, CLMA, MLRA, to the open wheel World of Outlaws, USAC, NCRA, All Star Circuit of Champions, CRA, MARA and others, the Park City facility continues to lead the way with the best of weekly dirt track racicng entertainment and the nations most popular special event programs.
With its storied history, attorney Bryson Mills, of Wichita, a racing enthusiast and historian on the track, approached speedway officials with the idea of forming a Hall of Fame. Nominess for induction could be presented to the speedway by friends and family members of individuals who have impacted the speedway during their career. Mills would form a private committee (with no influence from speedway officials) who would then vote each year to induct a minimum of (5) individuals into the 81 Speedway Hall of Fame. The first class was inducted in 2000. Following are the names of those who are part of this fraternity,
81 SPEEDWAY HALL OF FAME MEMBERS
2000: LaVern Nance, Car Builder. Walt McWhorter, Driver. Jay Woodside, Driver. Roy Bryant, Driver. Harold Leep, Driver. Forrest Coleman, Driver. Dale Reed, Driver. Pinky Mullens, Driver. George Riley, Driver. Clyde Smith, Car Owner. Pius Selenke, Car Owner. Bryson Mills, Track Attorney. Elmer Stilwell, Driver/Car Owner. Ken Sweet, Driver. Oren Haas, Driver. Ernest Ramey, Driver. Frank Lies, Driver. Jack Petty, Driver. Bud Haehn, Driver. Charlie Lutkie, Driver. Evertt Issac, Car Owner. Paul Kammerer, Driver
2001: Grady Wade, Driver. Bill Hall, Original owner of 81 Speedway (1963). Chet Wilson, Engine Builder. Willie "Wheelchair" Heatwole, Track Announcer. Gary Moore, Driver. Robert Billups, Car Owner, Glen Stultz, Driver/Car Owner. Arnold Stoner, Driver/Car Owner. Emmett Carpenter, Natl Speed Sport New. Warren Willhelm, Driver/Car Owner. John Hebb, Engine Builder. Mel Montgomery, Driver. Bill Bookout, Driver. Charlie Laing, Driver/Car Builder. Bill Nelson, Driver. Tom Lutkie, Driver. Herb Copeland, Driver. Orville Beckel, Driver.
2002: Shirley Hall, Original owner of 81 Speedway (1963). Vickie Houle, Concession Mgr. M.B. Smith, Track Official. Al Alexander, Track Official. Bo Cline, Track Announcer. Roy Pulver, Driver/Car Owner. Harry Nickel, Track Announcer. Art Bybee, Car Owner. Buddy Carrell, Driver. Harold Buckley, Car Owner. Bob Glasse, Car Owner. Harold Harms, Car Owner. Pete Forshee, Car Owner. Gerald Doty, Car Owner. Red Forshee, Car Owner. Pete Jacobs, Driver. Steve Kammerer, Driver. Ed Schauf, Driver. Clark Racer, Driver. Ted Reed, Car Owner.
2003: John Rush, Car Owner. Arkie Findley, Driver. George England, No. Am. Racing Ins. Ted Vogan, Driver. Frank Dickerson, Driver.
2004: Dale Oelkers, Driver/Car Owner. Larry Hall, Car Owner. Bernie Gill, Driver/Car Owner. Rich Wilson, Driver John Breising, Engine Builder. Pius Selenke, Car Owner. Bob Reed, Driver. Elmer Stillwell, Driver/Car Owner.
2005: Loretta Cox, Ks. Antique Racers. Jerry Everhart, Driver. Sandy Coleman, Souveiner Trailer/Office. AJ Shepard, Driver. Jon Johnson, Driver. Jerry Stone, Driver. Shelby Steenson, Driver. Dick Coleman, Track Official.
2006: Ron Cuda, Driver/Car Owner/Track Announcer. Charlie Lee, Safety-Tech Official. Ray Riner, Driver/Car Owner. RD Gourley, Driver/Car Owner. C. Ray Hall, General Manager
2007: Al Davis, Car Owner.. Bill "Chief" McAninch, Car Owner. Jerry Wilson, Driver/Engine Builder. FL Jarvis, Driver.
2008: Jack Walker, Driver. Don Collins, Car Owner. Jim Foster, Car Owner. Mike Peters, Driver. Leon Dewitt, Engine Builder.
2009: Nancy Keeler, Concessions. Gary Stephens, Track Official. Frank McGehee, Driver. Nunie Coleman, Track Official. Mel Shipman, Driver/Car Owner.
2010: Dwight Schroeder, Driver. Dalice Franz, Car Owner. Jim Selenke, Driver/Car Owner. Russell Keeler, Track Official. Rick Mueller, Driver.
2011: Carroll Allen, Driver. Doug Wiss, Track Official. Bob Lawrence, Driver/Historian. Lloyd Farr, Driver/Car Owner. Danny King, Car Owner.
2012: Van Gemmill, Driver Dave Moore, Driver, Steve Lutkie, Driver Darrell Baker, Emergency Crew Warren Hardy, Track Announcer