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Daytona Beach Memorial Stadium

 

Mel Kenyon

Mel Kenyon

Greetings from Daytona Beach, Florida

From the travels and adventures of the “World’s #1 Trackchaser”

 Daytona Beach Memorial Stadium – Lifetime track #41

 

The Daytona Beach Memorial Stadium is officially listed as my 41st lifetime racetrack to see.  This track is part of my “group of 71”.  What does that mean?  Prior to 1980 I did not record official dates of my track visits.  Therefore, for those 71 tracks, I have to rely upon my memory of my trips to the track.


I would have seen racing here in the 1969-1970 time frame.  I really don’t remember much about the racing other than the oval track ran around a high school football field.  The track was short at about 1/5-mile in length.  Research tells me the area where the track was located is now a Daytona Beach Community College parking lot.  I seem to recall the track surface being made of cinders!  That was a common surface for high school running tracks during that era.  One source told me the track ran from 1955-1977.


I do remember the race was an open wheel event which might have featured full-sized midget racers.  I know that a series of midget races were held here during the 1960s.  Mel Kenyon among others raced here.  In 1967 four nights of midget racing were scheduled during Florida Speedweeks at Memorial Stadium in February.  The feature paid $1,000 U.S. to win for the 14-car planned starting field.  The Daytona Beach Memorial Stadium was also known to host motorcycle TT racing.  Mini-stocks raced there in 1972.

  

You might have remembrances about the Daytona Beach Memorial Stadium.  If so, please feel free to share in the comments section below.  If you have any photos from back in the day, send them to me at Ranlay@yahoo.com.  I’ll try to include them here.


Comments

  1. Charlie Jarzombek came from LI-New York for the last NASCAR Styled Modified show before they went to the big track for events on the road course. He won that show but I am unsure of the date.

  2. I ran Karts there in the 80’s. We would Travel from Lancaster PA to run the speedway with the single engine sprint kart and head to Memorial Stadium and run both the single and duel modified I ran on dirt back home. I remember one year of absolute racing pain. Our motorhome broke down in VA and we just missed our class at Daytona. We went to MS that night and had a bunch of NY boys in the dual class painfully lapped by 3 when I blew the left engine. Maintained the lead till the right engine blew with 2 to go. Then, was in 3rd in the 100cc single class, took the high side to pass him with the leader in view and he turned up on me going into turn 1, we locked wheels and went flipping into the wall at 90mph. Ill never forget that 12ft white block wall. They hauled him to the hospital. I tried to finish bot the frame was that twisted I would turn left and go right. Total bust 1300 miles away from home and would do it again in a heartbeat. I wish I had pictures of that track.

  3. I went there in 67 or 69 during speedweeks. I went to grade school next door and lived a half mile away. I was 7 or 9 years old and it was cold so I hung around one of the drivers haulers outside the track (they had a fire barrel ) and since I didn’t have a ticket they would let me go in with them when they brought the cars on the track. His name was Red Lenahan I think and he was my new hero for getting me in for free.

  4. My dad and I were there in 1970 for a couple of the midget shows. Memory (fuzzy) tells me they were pretty good but we didn’t have any midget shows close to home back then.

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