The Speedrome had several different incarnations during its time on the North Side, not far from Riverside Park, including its time as a NASCAR stop in the early '50s.

The Speedrome occupied space at the old West Michigan Fairgrounds on the west side on North Park Street as early as 1903. It was located near the current intersection of North Park and West River, just northwest of Riverside Park and just south of Fifth/Third Ballpark.

It saw action as a stock car racing venue until 1937, when it closed, was briefly an air park operated by Amway's Dick DeVos until 1948 when stock car racing made a comeback on the one mile oval.

It was a legit stop on the NASCAR circuit in the early '50s when big names like Lee Petty (Richard's dad) took the checkered flag at the track.

The track was the subject of a talk this week at the Grand Rapids Public Library by historian Doug Taylor, who recalled the glory era of auto racing in Beer City.

I had previously written about the track in May of 2016. Where I stumbled across this video of a NASCAR race at the Speedrome.


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