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Saugus Speedway
LA's place to race
Saugus Speedway in 2007
Location Saugus, Santa Clarita, California
Broke ground 1927
Opened 1939
Closed July 19, 1995[1]
Major events
Asphalt Oval
Length 0.54 km (0.333 mi)
Banking flat
Asphalt Figure 8 infield
Saugus Speedway (2009)

Saugus Speedway is a 1/3 mile racetrack in Saugus, California on a 35-acre (140,000 m2) site. The track hosted one NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event in 1995, which was won by Ken Schrader.[2] Schrader became the first NASCAR driver to win in a race in all three of the sanctioning body's major series, following previous wins in the Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series.[3]


The track started out as a rodeo arena called Baker Ranch Stadium in 1927. Its construction was announced in December 1926. It was owned by Roy Baker, brother of shoe businessman C. H. Baker. The stadium held 18,000 spectators. During the Great Depression, it was sold in 1930 to Cowboy actor Hoot Gibson. He used the stadium for movie sets. The stadium was sold to Paul Hill in 1934. The valley that the stadium was in got flooded in 1937. Debris from the flood was too much for Hill to deal with, so the bank got the property.[4]

William Bonelli purchased it and renamed Bonelli Stadium. In 1939, Bonelli started hosting open wheel racing on the flat dirt surface. Crowds of 10,000 to 12,000 watched drivers such as Walt Faulkner, Mel Hansen, Allen Heath, Johnny McDowell, Jack McGrath, Danny Oakes, Troy Ruttman, and Bill Vukovich.[4] The track was part of the United Racing Association in 1940 and 1941. The last race before World War II was held on June 30, 1942. The track was unused in 1943 and 1944, like all racetracks in the United States. The track was the first circuit on the West Coast of the United States to host a post-war race when it reopened on September 9, 1945.[4] Bill Vukovich won the race. Nine races were held that season, and Vukovich was crowned the champion.[4]

The track was paved in 1946, but the pavement was removed and the track returned to dirt. Midget car racing was the national sensation in 1946, drawing large crowds to the track. Roadsters were the main class raced at the track from 1947 until 1950, until midget cars came back.[4] The grandstands in the backstretch needed repairs, so the grandstands from Gilmore Stadium were installed after the track closed in 1950.[4] From 1951 to 1955, the roadsters and midget cars shared the track equally, with occasional rodeos and circuses.[4] The track was paved for a second time in 1956.[4] The first stock car racing event on the track happened in 1957. It was promoted by Tony Coldeway, who later formed the Pacific Racing Association. 23 cars and 523 spectators came to the event.[4] The track became mainly used for stock car events after that event. It featured USAC stock cars, NASCAR Winston West Series, and the NASCAR Southwest Tour.[5] It also hosted the third race in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series history during the series' first year on April 15, 1995. Ken Schrader beat Geoffrey Bodine by 1.7 seconds.[6] The race had the slowest speed in Craftsman Truck Series history with an average speed of 43.526 miles per hour (70.048 kilometers per hour).[7] The track closed unexpectedly on July 19, 1995 in the middle of the season after the grandstands had been red-tagged and condemned by the County of Los Angeles, and have since been torn down.

Current use[edit]

The track hosts weekly swapmeets on Sundays, and flea markets on Saturday and Tuesday. The (Saugus) Santa Clarita Swap Meet features over 600 vendors and 15,000 people each Sunday since 1963.[8] The track hosts numerous special events and festivals, including car shows, antique appraisals, and concerts. The track has been used for numerous films and television scenes.

Notable drivers[edit]


  1. ^ Osmer, Harold; Lyn Pherigo. Saugus Speedway Scrapbook. Chatsworth, California, United States: Harold Osmer Publishing. ISBN 0-9659533-4-3. 
  2. ^ Craftsman Truck Series track history at racing-reference.info
  3. ^ 10 years tough; July 25, 2005, Cup Scene Daily; Retrieved December 14, 2007
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Wilkings, Marshall; Lyn Pherigo. A Tip of the Hat to Saugus Speedway Champions. Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-12-10. 
  5. ^ Winners of notable races in the track's history, Retrieved December 14, 2007
  6. ^ From the archives, April 7, 2004, Retrieved December 14, 2007
  7. ^ NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Notes (Week of July 14), July 18, 1997, Retrieved December 14, 2007
  8. ^ Saugus Speedway, Retrieved December 12, 2007
  9. ^ a b Woodside still on track; ex-Saugus Speedway star races today at California Speedway; June 21, 1997; Dave Desmond, Daily News; Retrieved December 12, 2007

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°24′59″N 118°31′40″W / 34.416360°N 118.527881°W / 34.416360; -118.527881

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saugus_Speedway — Please support Wikipedia.
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2717 videos foundNext > 

Saugus Speedway, 1988, main event, with Bobby Allison_Movie1_Full.mpg

1988 main event, with Bobby Allison.

Saugus Speedway Practice 1972

Racing from Saugus Speedway in 1972.

Wild Bill Foster Practice at Saugus Speedway

Wild Bill Foster driving in qualifying at Saugus Speedway.

Saugus Speedway "EGO CHALLENGE" Street Car Night

Street Cars and Trucks run the oval for quickest time and cash.

Ted the terror and Jack Beckman In the Saugus Speedway Train Race

some old footage of Jack "Fast Jack" Beckman and his brother Ted The terror Beckman in the Saugus Speedway Train race Ted's car spits in two and hits wall ...

NASCAR Street Stock Racecar for Saugus Speedway

My NASCAR #16 Street Stock 1972 Chevy Nova I built to race Oval and Figure 8 at Saugus Speedway. Sponsered by Santa Clarita Auto Specialist where I ...



Saugus Speedway - Past and Present

This was a Low Budget TV special shot for Cougar News. Jeff Best talks about Saugus Speedway's past and present state, with interviews with Tim Huddleston ...


Short Race,5-11-91.

Saugus Speedway, 1991


2717 videos foundNext > 

99 news items

Santa Clarita Valley Signal
Sat, 23 Jan 2016 02:02:00 -0800

This action reminds me of the old Saugus Speedway Figure-8 destruction derbies! When the Seco Canyon intersection light (one block north) is green, the attained speeds and volume of on-coming cars can be quite the challenge to cross. Some drivers (my ...
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Thu, 07 Jan 2016 14:30:00 -0800

... locals include Mike Duncan of Bakersfield, Winston West driver and owner champion in 2004-5; El Cajon's Ron Essau, inaugural Winston West champion in 1986; Oren Prosser of Granada Hills, who won five sportsman stock car titles at Saugus Speedway; ...

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times
Wed, 30 Dec 2015 11:07:30 -0800

Twenty years ago, longtime Burbank resident Linda Cozakos worked as the raccoon mascot at the Saugus Speedway for a season before it closed. Her 7-foot costume, currently stored in the rafters of her Burbank garage, was the inspiration behind her idea ...
San Bernardino County Sun
Fri, 04 Sep 2015 16:26:15 -0700

One of the most spectacular Southern California train robberies occurred on the evening of November 10, 1929, near the present-day site of the Saugus Speedway. After being turned down for a job on the railroad, a disgruntled local ranch hand decided to ...
LA Observed
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 13:33:45 -0800

George began to race at Saugus Speedway around 1947. But this hobby was short lived as the business expanded and took up all his spare time. Other forces began to take place, the first Hot Rod Show produced by Robert 'Pete' Petersen founder of Hot ...


Wed, 25 Mar 2015 13:51:33 -0700

Up north, Saugus Speedway, located in the middle of nowhere amidst the hills used in countless cowboy movies, was built in 1937 as a dirt track, and paved in 1954. Saugus, basically a flat, parking-lot-sized oval reminiscent of Flat Rock Speedway in ...


Thu, 20 Aug 2015 16:48:45 -0700

The Santa Clarita Swap Meet, located at the Saugus Speedway, gave people the opportunity to shop for new merchandise, collectibles and antiques, garage sale merchandise, produce, and other supplies at discount prices and bargain deals. All proceeds ...
Thu, 17 Sep 2015 09:18:45 -0700

To be fair, it's no surprise that Gary Collins (above) can walk through any NASCAR paddock in the country and go unnoticed. Collins had little more than a cup of coffee in the NASCAR Cup series, making four starts between 1988 and 1994. He was a ...

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