Iconic dirt track at Indiana State Fairgrounds to be removed

Local

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The ‘Track of Champions’  is a one mile dirt track inside the Indiana State Fairgrounds.  

“The skillsets that you get here teach you how to be a smooth race car driver and how to go fast in a race car,” said WISH-TV racing analyst Tyce Carlson. 

Now, that’s all about to change.  

Fair officials announced a plan to convert the dirt track to one made from crushed limestone. The limestone track will allow for more year-round events like harness racing. The Indiana State Fair Commission said the change would also pave the way for more space to build parking.  

For racing fans, the news is bittersweet. That’s because this dirt track has been home to the Hoosier Hundred. A race rich in history, dating back to 1953.  

“A lot of our great heroes of the past ran here. Andretti, Foyt, Carl Fisher, Rutherford. They’d run this race and then they’d go run the Indy 500,” said Carlson.  

For drivers like four-time Hoosier Hundred winner Kody Swanson, the track isn’t just dirt.  

“What makes the dirt so special, especially at the Indiana State Fairgrounds is that its the same that it was in 1953, and it just has that history,” Swanson explained. 

Drivers will have one final chance to take a spin around the dirt track. This year’s Hoosier Hundred on May 23 will be the last.    

Swanson told News 8 he wasn’t letting this change stop him. He plans to follow the Hoosier Hundred to any dirt track it goes to in the future.

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