Black Hills Speedway
More than just bleachers, dirt and concrete, the spirit of Black Hills Speedway can be summed up in just one word: Legacy. The legacy of dirt track racing has been handed down over the last six decades and just as the track has adapted and evolved, so has the sport.
Earliest accounts claim the track opened as early as 1949 while the earliest reports by the Rapid City Journal appeared in 1952. Either way, the original 5/8 mile track surrounded by nothing but rolling grasslands and a few fields, a mere twenty minutes from historic Mount Rushmore, still drew in the drivers as well as spectators. Taking over ownership in 1969, George and Lois Davis started improving the track for race fans to enjoy the spectcle in safety and comfort, starting with a solid four inch concrete barrier on the front stretch dirt barrier between patrons and the racers as well as a concrete grandstand surface on the west side of the track. Massive flooding in 1972 not only damaged the continued efforts to improve the track, but the town of Rapid City as well. Resulting in over 200 deaths in just a few hours marks June 9th as on of the deadliest floods in US history. Even with so much damage including 5,000 vehicles destroyed, this was only a set-back and not the end of Black Hills Speedway or Rapid City as the people worked together to rebuild.
The seventies marked a decade of growth as seasoned Class “C” stock drivers supported the return of Class “A” division as well as modified and sprint cars. In ’76, racers found themselves on essentially new terrain as the original 5/8th of a mile track was updated to a true half-mile with a concrete barrier surround. Every Friday night during the season was marked by the roar of four divisions this season. The late seventies saw the advent of new technology as stock frames and chassis give way to custom fabrication and a preference towards Camaro body styles. In 1978, George and Lois Davis concluded their decade of improvement and reconstruction to the track, selling to a group of investors and promoters. This group placed more emphasis on sprint cars, drawing out some of the big names of that era as well as trying to bridge the gap between Hobby Stock and Late Models class.