Bloomington Speedway

Logan Seavey Wins The Larry Rice Classic At Bloomington Speedway
11th Annual Josh Burton Memorial May 24, 2024
3rd Annual Kevin Huntley Memorial is part of Maverick Mayhem Week June 21, 2024
Logan Seavey Wins The Larry Rice Classic At Bloomington Speedway

Logan Seavey Wins The Larry Rice Classic At Bloomington Speedway

5/15/2024 -
It was beautiful weather Friday night for the Usac Larry Rice Classic. 34 sprints loaded the pits and qualifying would be intense with some new names
11th Annual Josh Burton Memorial May 24, 2024

11th Annual Josh Burton Memorial May 24, 2024

5/8/2024 -
Coming up Friday, May 24th, the Josh Burton Memorial with Fireworks! Fireworks dark. Sprints will be $10,00 to win Modifieds will be 1k to win! Super
3rd Annual Kevin Huntley Memorial is part of Maverick Mayhem Week June 21, 2024

3rd Annual Kevin Huntley Memorial is part of Maverick Mayhem Week June 21, 2024

5/8/2024 -
The 3rd Annual Kevin "The Pup" Huntley Memorial will feature 305 Racesaver Sprints and 410 Maverick Winged Sprint Series. Kevin raced both Racesavers

Hidden Heroes: The Mitchell-Priest Family


Bloomington Speedway

Hidden Heroes: The Mitchell-Priest Family

Bloomington, Indiana was a vastly different place at the start of the roaring 1920s. The city boasted a population of roughly 11,500 inhabitants and Indiana University was bursting at the seams with 2,356 enrollees. By the time Bloomington Speedway came alive in nearby Clear Creek the Christian Church had been welcoming worshippers for over eighty years and the post office had already celebrated a Golden Anniversary. Because of the nearby quarries the Indiana Stone Railroad serviced the area and the local depot witnessed plenty of action.
In the August 24, 1923 edition of the Indianapolis Times it was noted that the Bloomington Speedway Company filed articles of incorporation showing capital stock of $5000. The key principles were Nat Hill, Wylie Carter, and George K. Carter. The new playground would be substantially south of downtown Bloomington but luckily the percentage of Americans who owned a car exploded between 1920 and the midpoint of the decade. The early advertisements promised bands, bicycle races, and noted that because the surfaced was oiled dirt dust would be controlled.
However, like all businesses this was a risky venture. As time goes by fewer and fewer people are alive who remember tracks like the Bedford Speedway on Dixie Highway, Walnut Gardens in Camby, the two tracks in Mitchell, Oakland City Speedway, and Carey Ranch at 8800 S. Meridian. Clearly there are some who actually attended events at Sweet Owen, Bloomington Motor Speedway at the old Monroe County Fairgrounds, or the plant that rested just south of Martinsville. What do all these places have in common? They are gone and for the most part, forgotten.
How has Bloomington survived? It required fans, officials, and drivers willing to put it all on the line. Sure, these are critical items. Yet, the most important factor of all is arguably the Mitchell-Priest family. Every day we hear about another track that will soon close its doors for good. There are myriad reasons for this unfortunate trend. Speedways that were once in the country suddenly are engulfed by suburban sprawl and unfriendly neighbors, land values increase tempting one to sell, and some operators are just flat worn out. Luckily, Bloomington Speedway benefitted from hidden heroes. Jim Mitchell owned the property from the very first days of the facility. From there the land was passed down to George Mitchell. When George died in 1992 his wife Catherine took the reins and held tight for another decade. When Catherine passed the property transferred to Mitchell Realty Holding, LLC which is owned by the Mitchell- Priest family. The baton was continually passed forward. While some have served as operators or leased the property the family have been the backbone of it all. It would have been easy to turn their back on the sport. Undoubtedly there were times when this may have been the pragmatic thing to do. Yet, racing is an essential element of the fabric of this community. The Mitchell-Priest family understood this. In the end, without them there would be no centennial celebration.

Article Credit: Patrick Sullivan

Submitted By: Jill Spiker

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