100 Years of Speed


Bill Holder


This book was written to provide an accurate and complete portrayal of Winchester Speedway. As can be imagined, there was incomplete data, conflicting data, along with undated and unidentified photos in the research effort. Within those constraints, every effort was made to tell the correct story of this historical track.

There it sits among the farm fields of corn and soybeans. Driving west on US 32 just outside Winchester, Indiana, you note a red-and-white sign appearing on the right side of the road. It provides you with the information than you are passing the famous Winchester Speedway, which is the third oldest active track in the nation. And it all came to fruition through the efforts of its builder of the track and longtime promoter, Frank Funk.

For the average passer-by, that data might have no more significance than the passing of any other racetrack. But to the short track racing community, it’s more—so much more!

For race drivers during the decades, that name has stood for high speeds and danger. It came from the fear of the track’s awesome high banks which many times decimated fields of racecars. And through the years, there were many drivers and racecars that bore the brunt of the high speeds.

But even so, this is still the location of the holy grail of racing. All the great drivers of the 20th and into the 21st century have done their thing at the Hoosier state facility in a wide range of different types of racecars.

The great open wheel racing names flow, and include Roger McCluskey, Jeff Gordon, Tom Bigelow, Tony Stewart, Duane Carter Sr., Duke Nalon, Mike Nazaruk, Sonny Ates, Ted Horn, Troy Ruttman, Rollie Beale, Eddie Sachs, Don Branson, Jud Larson, Johnny Rutherford, A.J. Foyt, Red Renner, Tom Bigelow, Pat O’Connor, Troy Ruttman, Pancho Carter, Mel Kenyon, Gary Bettenhausen, Mauri Rose, Spider Web, Wilbur Shaw, Mel Kenyon, and so many others.

But stock car racing has also seen its greats at the venerable track. Mark Martin, Rusty Wallace, Allen Kulwicki, Larry Moore, Dick Trickle, Kyle Busch, Frank Kimmel, Jack Bowsher, Butch Miller, Mike Cope, Harry Gant, Ted Musgrave, Darrell Waltrip, Bobby Allison, Kenny Wallace, Terry Labonte, Bob Senneker, Randy Sweet, Ken Schrader, and again, on and on.

Winchester Speedway is celebrating its hundredth anniversary in 2013, and this book will attempt to provide in words and photos a story of the uncountable number of events that have taken place on this hallowed ground.