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Tom Botos

       
Jungle Park Speedway Story     3-09-09      By Tom Botos

 

    Hello racefans on Friday March 6th I drove to Rockville,Indiana the home of the
famed jungle Park Speedway which opened in 1926 and closed for the final time in1960 after a racefan was killed while watching the races that same year.Jungle Park Speedway has some very rich history.an author named Tom W. Williams wrote a book about Jungle Park Speedway which is currently in print and available as a 2nd Edition.The book is called The Ghosts Of Jungle Park,History,Myth,and Legend.I highly recommend this book to any avid racefan or historian of Open Wheel "big Car" racing.I have included with this story some photos of the last section of grandstand which was built in 1947.This section is all that remains of the long stretching grandstand which kept many racefans dry from rain and shaded from the harsh summer sunlight.

 

     An entrance gate was built to accompany the grandstand and it is painted as though it belongs in marriage to the venerable "bleachers". There are also many patches of visable asphalt from the paved straightaways and the dirt covered turns that made Jungle Park a very tricky track to race on for drivers.Jungle Park is a 1/2 mile speedway built by Earl Padgett in 1925.There was no "retaining wall" as only nature's trees lined thebackstretch and sometimes kept cars from entering the creek behind the backstretch.Six drivers lost there lives at this historic track.It seems as though Earl padgett followed the terrain as Jungle Park is not a true oval with its unique configuration.Many big names that ran the Indy 500 also ran jungle  Park in it's heyday.The Jungle Park Restaurant building isn still there but it now houses an antique store and flea market.This old building is up for sale and would make an awesome racing museum if restored!

 

      If I was a rich racefan I would buy both the track and the old restaurant building and restore the track for  Vintage Races and also have an auto racing museum put in the restaurant building.On the fourth Saturday in September they have The Jungle Park Speedway Reunion for racefans,historians and drivers converge to reminisce of days gone by but never to be forgotten at Jungle Park Speedway!

  
Midwest Racing Roundup Tom Botos

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