Racing exhibit opens Saturday

The Stevens Memorial Museum has a new exhibit featuring the county’s automobile racing history. County Historian Jeremy Elliott said the grand opening will feature a retired race car driver reunion.
It is scheduled for Saturday, April 13, from 5 to 9 p.m. at the museum. Elliott noted that is also ARCA weekend at Salem Speedway Fueled by the Hoosier Lottery.
The first organized automobile race held in the county was on the old fairgrounds horse track in October of 1915. The American Legion recognized the popularity of the sport from the huge crowd. Between 8,000 and 12,000 were in attendance. Shortly afterwards, the Legion began sponsoring the races at the fairgrounds, until they completed construction of their own track, in the Canton flats, in 1923.
However, Elliott noted, that did not stop racing events at the fairgrounds. “They have pretty much had auto racing of all kinds there ever since,” he said.
He noted when the checkered flag waves at Thunder Valley Raceway to begin the 2019 season, it will mark 204 years of automobile racing in Washington County.
The grand opening of the museum race room is open to the public. Admission is $3 at the door. Refreshments will be available.
“Come see our exciting new display highlighting our county’s significant automotive racing history and stay to hear of the ‘Golden Era of Racing’ from the surviving drivers who lived it!” said Elliott.

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