Top 10 Tuesday: One-Mile Tracks

Spencer Neff

Hope everyone is having a great week.

After IndyCar’s visit to the Milwaukee Mile and NASCAR heading to New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend, here’s a look at the top one-mile tracks in motorsports.

10. Chicago Motor Speedway- Built by a group including Chip Ganassi, the track in Cicero had a short-lived, but memorable run. Among its memorable moments are the first career win for Cristiano da Matta and two Truck Series races.

9. Pikes Peak International Raceway: Although Pikes Peak made its name for the Hill Climb, the oval near Colorado Springs also boasted some memorable racing. In 1997, Tony Stewart won his first Indy Racing League race at the track.

8. Sanair Super Speedway: Coming in at slightly under a mile (.826), the track in Quebec hosted NHRA and Trans-Am, but is most famous for IndyCar, which it hosted from 1984-1986. Among its memorable moments was a devastating crash for Rick Mears in 1984, as well as a controversial finish between Johnny Rutherford and Pancho Carter the following year. The pace car left the track early on the last lap and Carter passed Rutherford to win. However, the win was later given back to Rutherford.

7. Walt Disney World Speedway: Built by a subsidiary of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the track hosted the inaugural event for the Indy Racing League in 1996 (won by Buzz Calkins). For the next four years, IndyCar would race there, and in 1997 and 98, the NASCAR Truck Series did as well. The series stopped racing there in 2000 amid safety concerns and after 15 years as a fan experience track, the venue will close next month and be razed.

6. New Hampshire Motor Speedway: The speedway was opened in 1990, giving the racing world a track in the New England area. Two years later, the IndyCar Series debuted there and a year after, the track played host to the NASCAR Cup Series. In 1996, Ernie Iran completed his comeback from a near-fatal crash in 1994 by winning at the track.

5. North Carolina Speedway: More commonly known as Rockingham, the track played host to NASCAR for nearly 40 years. In its last race in 2004, Matt Kenseth edged out Kasey Kahne by .010 seconds. In 2012 and 2013 the track featured Truck Series racing but would not return due to financial struggles.

4. Nazareth Speedway: Although the track has not been used since 2004, the 1-mile track in northeastern Pennsylvania played host to several memorable moments in racing history. After 75 years as a dirt track, the speedway was closed for three years and reopened as a paved track in 1987. In 1995, Emerson Fittipaldi won his last IndyCar race at Nazareth.

3. Dover International Speedway: “The Monster Mile” began as an asphalt track that was notoriously tough on both drivers and equipment. In 1995, the track was paved with concrete and two years later its race distances cut from 500 to 400 miles. Among its more famous moments is a win by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the first race after the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001.

2. Phoenix International Raceway: The track was founded in 1964 and was a mainstay for nearly 40 years with both the USAC series and IndyCar, but has not hosted IndyCar since 2005. In 1988, NASCAR brought the Cup Series began racing there and it marked the first win for 1992 Champion Alan Kulwicki and the start of the Polish Victory Lap.

1. Milwaukee Mile: Founded in 1903 in West Allis, the Wisconsin track has been a staple in the history of IndyCar Racing even with its transition from dirt to pavement in 1954. Among its most memorable moments was the first win by IndyCar legend Gordon Johncock and the closest finish in what is now the Xfinity (Busch) Series, when Buckshot Jones edged Mike McLaughlin by .002 seconds in 1996.

Enjoy the rest of your week and see you soon.

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