History of Indiana Speedways; Baer Field Motorsports, Avilla & Fort Wayne Speedway & More
Baer Field Speedway is located next to the Fort Wayne Indiana airport. The original airport was named after Lt. Paul Baer, who as a First World War ace, and received the distinguished Service cross on March 11, 1918. This raceway has been known as the Allen County Speedway, Baer Field Raceway, Baer Field Speedway and is currently Baer Field Motorsports.
Baer Field Speedway Races
Built in 1962 the raceway has a ½ mile oval paved track and the third track in Fort Wayne. It also sports a 1/10th mile go-kart track, and a 3/8 short track and the mentioned ½ mile track. Various race car classes compete down to go-karts. For the year 2001 over 200 local teams competed on the track, including the go-karts. They offer stock car racing as well. Baer Field Motorsports Park today offers 1/6 mile and quarter mile dirt tracks. They offer a “grocery getter” pure stock class. These in addition to the paved tracks.
Baer’s contemporary tracks are the Fort Wayne Speedway and the South Anthony Speedway. From 1952 to 1964 the South Anthony track hosted racing two days per week at its 3/8 mile paved track. In 1964 they moved everything, bleachers, guardrails, concession stands, trucks, ambulance and concrete walls were hauled to Avilla, and created the Avilla Raceway opening July 24, 1964. Avilla lasted until September 23, 1995 when it was closed. Howard Bice the owner went against convention in 1970 he paved the track. But during Avilla’s lifetime Bice switched between dirt, laid over the pavement, and the pavement silencing his critics that said it would never work. Dirt tracks are a lot of work, and the spectators get dirty. In 1965 a drag strip was added. Today the Avilla Raceway property hosts a distribution center, a medical office and a bank.
Fort Wayne Speedway
Fort Wayne Speedway was a high banked dirt track. Built in 1928, it was considered the fastest ½ mile track in the world built inside a high-banked oval 5/8th mile track, according to some the high banked 5/8th mile track was “the fastest 5/8 mile track in the world, go figure. A ¼ mile midget track was inside of the ½ mile track. These two tracks were included in 1946. Treacherous with low railing many cars where launched of the track. Roly-poly the track offered many dips to challenge the drivers. The surrounding the track, being part of the fair grounds where sold to developers in 1964 who created an industrial park.
Baseball, Military & Automotive Museums in Auburn, Indiana
Indiana has a large stake in the history of motorsports, hosting multiple racing facilities, some lost in memory with the Baer Field Motorsports facility out living its competitors. The early day racing in nostalgic in the sense that early racers would resurrect junk yard cars and build their own race cars. Now you can essentially by them ready made off the self. The “grocery getter” class at Baer is as closet you get to the hay-day of DIY racing. Paved or dirt ovals to drag racing motorsports a major attraction for participants and the spectators. Street National drag racing was the innovation of the Avilla’s track owner Howard Bice. Learn more about automotive history in Indiana at Kruse Museums!