Cherokee Speedway

Cherokee spdwy aerial

Greetings from Gaffney, South Carolina

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

Cherokee Speedway

Lifetime track #146


The Cherokee Speedway is officially listed as my 146th lifetime racetrack to see.  This venue was the first track I ever saw in South Carolina.  I was there on a Saturday evening, April 20, 1985.  The next day I dropped over to the North Wilkesboro Speedway in, where else, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina for a NASCAR Winston Cup race.  Neil Bonnett won.



I didn’t begin writing my famous Trackchaser Reports until about track #400.  Therefore all I have to go on is my memory of the afternoon and evening activity.  I also didn’t begin doing much in the way of photos or videos at that time either.  It was “pre-technology time”.


CPL Cherokee118 (1) 


My most vivid memory of my visit to this track didn’t have anything to do with the racing.  That is not unusual.  Carol was with me on this trip.  I had her stand by a sign at the entrance of the pit area.  As you can see it read “Positively no women or children allowed in pit area!”  That was in 1985.  Times have changed haven’t they!



According to the National Speedway Directory (2013) the Cherokee Speedway is a 3/8-mile high banked dirt oval.  They race on Saturday nights with a whole gaggle of stock cars including super late models.  If you go be prepared for super late model times trials to take place in the middle of the program.  That’s how they do it in the south.  I don’t like time trials.  I especially don’t like time trials in the middle of the program.  In 2014 the Cherokee Speedway has one of the longest schedules of any track that races on a weekly/semi-weekly basis.  The first show is on February 22.  The last program of the season is planned for November 30.  That’s a long racing season.


cherokee spdwy racing 

You might have remembrances about the Cherokee Speedway.  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  I’ll try to include them here.


  1. I’ve been hunting old photos of cherokee speedway and drivers photos from 1955 to 1975. My dad, Bobby Owens raced a little and his friend, Bill Ruppe. I was very young but I remember it well. THere was also a Richard Smith . . . know anyone who can help me? My dad is 71 and I’m trying to make him an awesome birthday present for his birthday May first. I pray you can help me or know someone who can. Thanks so much!

  2. ‘No women or children allowed in the pits!’ was the norm across the country. We may have killed a few people in the 1960s, but at least they weren’t 15-year old girls (Bubba’s, Ocala, FL, 3-22-14). 18 to drive a stock car, 21 to drive an open wheel roll bar race car — the pits were a kinder, more gentle place.

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