Before the Kentucky speedway opened in 2000 the preeminent race track in the commonwealth of Kentucky was located right here in the Derby City- the Louisville Motor Speedway.
So many remember it as yet another track in the city in which speed mattered. Opened in 1988 the track was built for just that and when NASCAR came calling in 1996 for their Craftsman Truck Series the track officials were more than happy to oblige. In fact, the event went so well that three years later the series came back.
Before all that though it was television networks where the track first came to national notoriety, when TNT went looking to film their RedMan Monster Truck Challenge in 1988. The track would go on to host the event until 1990.
In between TNT and NASCAR the track stayed busy with the United States Hot Rod Association’s Superbowl of Motorsports from ’92 to ’93. At this point spectators were venturing from all over the region to check out the vehicular competition that was bred on the track.
Even when national opportunities weren’t available the track obliged its fans with weekly events.
Today, where the track once stood is an industrial park. After the more technologically advanced Kentucky speedway was built in Northern Kentucky, it was decided that the Louisville Motor Speedway would be a redundancy in the commonwealth and so it officially closed September 15, 2001.
It’s true that at that time the track was past its glory days so to speak, hosting events rarely but for that window of time in between the 80’s through to the late 90’s it welcomed drivers of all sorts and any spectator looking for old fashioned racing.
In fact it was probably that old fashioned feeling which ended up sinking the track, however it was an authenticity that was never lost and for that the Louisville Motor Speedway is a sports landmark in the city.
Image courtesy of Louisville Motor Speedway