Suicidal Speed and Splinters: The History of Board Track Racing In America

Suicidal Speed and Splinters: The History of Board Track Racing In America

For a span of about 25 years in America, the fastest racing venues in the country were not made of asphalt, concrete, or brick, but rather wooden boards. These tracks, which ranged from less than a half mile to two miles in length were quick and cheap to construct and drew fans by the tens of thousands.

They also birthed the first generation of hero American race drivers that the country had ever seen. Unfortunately, it killed the drivers about as fast as it made them legendary. Even worse, with banking angles that sometimes approached 50-degrees or more, the tracks killed spectators as well when cars and motorcycles would fly into the stands. The Motordromes were then called “Murderdromes” by the newspapers of the day.

From coast to coast, the tracks sprang up and the speeds grew and grew. The performances from drivers and motorcyclists are still nearly beyond belief today!This show tells the story of why the tracks were built, how the tracks were built, who built them, and why this bizarre racing supernova flashed so semingly fas t across the American racing landscape. This is this a story of suicidal speed and splinters. The story of American board track racing.

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2 thoughts on “Suicidal Speed and Splinters: The History of Board Track Racing In America

  1. Chas

    Atlantic City Speedway was a 1.5 mile banked board track that was actually about 20 miles west of AC in a little town called Amatol NJ. Amatol was a “factory” town that was built to manufacture explosives during WW I. The town was built way out in the woods because, well, if it ever went up, you wouldn’t want it to be near civilization. They built the Speedway on that site in 1926 and ran the “AAA BIG CARS” until 1928. From 1928 to 1933 they used it as a test track and proving grounds, then, ripped it up and sold the lumber. Odd twist to the story is that the land never became valuable. To this day, it’s still nothing but a huge overgrown field. You can walk back there and follow along where the actual track used to be

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