Sad News as Yakima Speedway Calls It Quits After 64 Years
A Yakima tradition since 1956 is coming to a close for good. The Yakima Speedway is closing down after 64 years.
I worked in the Yakima radio market for many years and that's when I first discovered the Yakima Speedway. We did some fun promotions there and our radio staff even got to race in some of the stock cars.
The news came down that the Yakima Speedway won't open for this season or the near future. The track is located at S. 18th Street in Yakima and you can see the paved track from the freeway as you drive through Yakima.
According to a posting on the Lost Dirt Tracks Facebook page, Yakima Speedway is shutting down for good. The website listed the details that lead to the shutdown:
This track first opened in 1956 as a 1/2 mile dirt track under Apple Bowl Speedway but that soon changed to Yakima Speedbowl.
During the period of the 1960s and 1970s, this was the prime time for the track. Local fans would pack out each event watching local stock car stars run.
By the 80s and through to 90s, they had run everything from stocks, late models, modifieds even Sprintcars.
They were running NASCAR sanctioned races.
Over the last decade, fans were dropping off due to other interests. So many other tracks ended up closing down leaving this track the only paved oval in the area.
In 2017, the owner stopped managing the track and another group took over and year by year lease. With the track up for sale, both owner and promotor couldn’t come up with an agreement and the track won’t open this season, or ever again.
I hope a resolution will get it solved to keep the Yakima Speedway open but it looks like with the track up for sale, a pandemic, and an agreement not reached, it might be the final nail in the coffin for a great Yakima tradition that is the Yakima Speedway.