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NAZARETH SPEEDWAY (History)

1910: Auto racing begins at the Northampton County Fairgrounds 1 mile dirt track, a few miles from the town of Nazareth. (Nazareth is within Northampton County, PA.)

1920: A half-mile dirt track is built at Nazareth intended for horse racing.

1921: Auto racing shifts from the County Fairgrounds to the Nazareth half-mile track.

Throughout the next 60+ years, the 1/2 mile dirt track will host a variety of Stock, Modified, Midgets, and Sprint races... including night racing under lights.

1959: The Andretti bros. enter their first ever race, at Nazareth Speedway. Aldo drives... and wins! Over time, both Mario and Aldo would have numerous wins at the track.

1966: Owner Jerry Fried builds a larger 1.125 mile dirt track on an adjacent property called "Nazareth National". For the time Nazareth Speedway is essentially a 2 oval facility with both the 1/2 mile and 1 mile tracks.

1969: Nazareth National hosts the last points-paying National Championship race (with the Dirt Champ Cars) held at night under lights. Mario wins... and his daughter is born later that evening!

1971: Nazareth National is shut down, but the 1/2 mile track continues regular operation.

1981-84: Nazareth National re-opens for a few years under promoter Lindy Vicari to host occasional USAC Silver Crown (formerly the Dirt Champ cars) and local Modifed races. He reconfigures T2 and shortens the backstretch due to zoning restrictions, changing the overal length to just under 1 mile. The venture eventually goes bankrupt.

1986: Roger Penske buys the 1 mile track from the bank and paves it. Portable grandstands from Cleveland are used for the first few years.

1987: The restored track hosts it's first CART race. Mike Andretti wins.

1988: The last year of racing at the 1/2 mile dirt track. (which eventually is torn-down and built-over) From now on, the Nazareth Speedway facility has just the 1 mile* paved oval. (* .94 mile)

1997: New aluminum grandstands are built. Attendance for CART race peaks at ~45,000.

1999: Silver Crown cars return for the first time in 15 years. Jason Leffler wins

2000: Early April CART race snowed out! Make-up race held on Memorial Weekend the day before Indy... and Team Penske gets it's 100th Champ-Indy win.

2001: Last CART race at Nazareth.

2002: First IRL race at Nazareth including all three major USAC divisions: Midgets, Sprints, & Silver Crown cars.

2004: New owners International Speedway Corp closed the facility in late 2004.

As of May 2007, the grandstands, signage and all visible structures at the racetrack have been demolished. The track remains fenced off and access to any part of the track or land surrounding it is restricted.
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