Pontiac Speedway - Pontiac MI

Address: M-59 and Elizabeth Lake Rd
City: Pontiac
State: MI
County: Oakland
Number of visits to this page: 14673

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General Information:

Source: Dave Lyall

There was a Pontiac Speedway located at the corners of Elizabeth Lake Roads and M-59. As a boy, I attended a race there in 1953, which was won by Joy Fair driving a 32 Ford flathead. A shopping center was built oin the site. It was a 1/4 mile dirt track, with short turns and long straights. The back of the grandstands faced M-59.

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Info Updates:
7/27/2017 - Marcus Opie
The M-59/Elizabeth Lk/Cass Lk Rd site was a swamp in the 50s, filled for Kmart, but not very well if you look at the lot. No track was there. M-59 speedway was the only track in the area 7or 8 miles west.
8/5/2011 - Terry Bennett-Gilliland
To Randy: Tom Porzondek suggested I visit this site because my dad Wayne Bennett is in the picture on this site. Wow! I have lots of pictures also and news clippings which I am going to send to Steve Wolski to post to the speedway sites. We moved to Alabama in 1966 so he didn't race any more after that but he continued building a few cars for my youngest brother Dwayne Bennett and some of his friends. He also assisted Benny Parsons when the Talladega, Alabama track opened. Our family lived and breathed racing while we lived in Michigan. We loved every bit of it and made lots of friends. I remember Danny Byrd, Joy Fair and Homer Newland and of course, Benny. My dad was a guest when Benny was inducted into the International Motor Sports Hall of Fame in Birmingham, AL. I have really enjoyed viewing the information on this website.
5/15/2009 - DDS
You guys got me thinking about the Pontiac Speedway site. Next time I talk to Fair, I'll try and find out exactly where he remembers it being.

Wish I would have read this last week. I just saw him Sunday.
12/18/2007 - Sean Fitzgerald
Randy, it is sad that the tracks aren't sustaining themselves. We have to figure out what each of us can do to get more people out to the tracks. Most Tracks are so far out and money is so tight, insurance costs, local oppostition by people who just don't get that it's not just people driving in circles. What do ya say we each try and drag people to ac and dixie this year, and try and check out waterford. First of all it's $5 or free, depending on your luck, and there is plenty to like about it, if only the staock car crew would give it a chance. As far as sporty cars, Waterford has a division consisting of Camaros, Corvettes and Mustangs called American Iron. The Jack Cauley Corvettes battling the Southern Motors Vettes are an awesome show.

It's also sad that the BIG three farms out every design job it can and isn't interested in being more creative. The dodge dart was the best car ever. 28 to the Gallon Highway and rear wheel drive. The build quality was every bit as good as my geo/toyaota prizm's was, actually far better. I would by a brand new dart in a second and with todays tech you could make one that would get the same mileage and the Toyoata Vibe. I keep dreaming that Apple Computer will open a factory in Detroit......
12/18/2007 - Randy
Very good points Sean...and I do agree about the big 3 exc's...it is always the blue collar worker taking the cuts (weather it be in pay or there jobs) never the exc's making the big bucks who could make a difference with a cut or two.

I too try to buy USA products as much as I can...it does get hard though in today economical strain.

I tip my hat to you Sean for your views and opinions...It is just sad that the ground work was laid by the big 3 as they created the racing scene as we know and love it...but today, we strive to keep the local tracks going and have to SUGGEST POSSIBLY resorting to a 'sports car/foriegn class' of racing at the local STOCK CAR Track.

Buy American - By Americans
12/18/2007 - Sean Fitzgerald
Guys it is a shame, and believe me I had a lot of pride that the build sheet I found in my rusty old MOPAR said hamtramck, but blaming Honda and Toyota for being good at capitalism and building quality small cars makes no sense. They didn't kill Detroit, the big three, whose overpriced executives refused to develop relevant products when the writing was clearly on the wall, while they took the money and ran with nafta while shipping all the jobs off to other countries are the ones to blame. Plus they just keep building monster SUV's instead of figuring out what anyone who has to work for a pay check already knows. If the BIG 3 are so concerned about toyaota and Nissan, then how come they are in cahoots with em, taking the Toyota Matrix and throwing a Pontiac badge on it and calling it a Vibe, the same as they did with the PRIZM er the Corolla and or the Escort er Mazda 323 or the Mercury Villager and the Nissan quest. All those supposed American cars are just re-badged Japanese cars. Most Toyotas sold in the US are built by US workers, who cash there checks here, while the Bushes live in the pockets of the Suadis. US auto executives make ten times what Japanese executives make and about a hundred thousand times what the workers make. It's now a global economy, like it or not, and as usual the fat cats soak the workers and then convince us to blame some one else while they suck the infrastructure dry until it's too late.

Also, think about that next time you buy a tool at Home Depot or shop for a shirt at Walmart folks. I bought a dollie at HD that was made here for 7 dollars more than it's Chinese counterpart, I make not much cash at all but I bought a PIREX Casserole Dish for 5 dollars more cause it's made here and Corningware isn't, and I try to buy American and shop locally, when I can. I would love it if Toyota or anyone else built a plant here and put my fellow citizens to work. Don't forget that Henry Ford who was pals with Hitler, was really just as foreign to the working stiff in his own way to us as Mister Toyoda, who by the way was the only Japanese executive to plead with the emperor not to go to war with us. In Conclusion, Drink Michigan Beer and drive old Detroit Iron for fun and take a bus or ride a bike when ever possible
12/17/2007 - Randy
AMEN DAVE!!! MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY!!! What a shame...what use to be GM/CHRYSLER/FORD...the BIG 3 in the MOTOR CITY - DETROIT is fading.

Heck, now it is Toyota vyeing for the #1 seat in the industry.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I do not know of any "Hurst Hemi Under Glass Honda", "Color Me Gone Camary" or "Ramchargers Nissan".
Did Toyota/Honda/Nissan or any other forgien car maker made history in the 20's thru 70's to create the foundation of stock car racing/drag racing.

I just want to know, do they have 'good ole stock car racin' in Tokyo? How about a 1/4 mile dragstrip....oh wait, that would have to be in meters or sumtin right?

Detroit's car deal is slumping and the closing of tracks and opening of strip malls and condos is a sign of the times....and that is sad.

But thru Waterwinterwonderland, we get to relive the memories that we all can share!!!
12/17/2007 - Dave Lyall

You are so right about needing a 1/2 mile speedway close to Detroit. I wrote a piece about activities and reminiscing about Detroit Dragway, and I made a statement that probably applies to this situation, and all other race fans hopes and aspirations for re-opening closed tracks or building new ones in this area, and in this day and age.

I stated in my Detroit Dragway story that the race cars, the scope of the events, the things we did, all the characters that did them and the tracks themselves had to exist in earlier times. As today's over priced real estate, hungry lawyers, high insurance costs, over-built sub divisions, selfish and uppity neighbors, and high road traffic have probably relegated the things many of us older generations enjoyed (drive-in restaurants, drive-in theaters, 1/4 mile and 1/2 mile race tracks, drag strips, amusement parks, swimming beaches) to only distant memories of things that once were, and can never again be, because of what we have become.

Further, in the early 50's , as an 11 & 12 year old, I would walk or hitch-hike the 3 miles from my parents home in East Detroit (Now Eastpoint) to Motor City Speedway, pay my way in, stay until the races were over, around 9:30 - 10:00 PM. Then hang around with the drivers until they got their pay, and then walk or hitch-hike the 3 miles back home, around 11:00 PM. Would any child dare do those things today? Personally, I think it is so sad. What have we done?
Dave Lyall, Livonia, Michigan
12/6/2007 - Sean Fitzgerald
All I know is I would give a lot to have a 1/2 mile track anywhere close to Detroit now. It must have been so great to watch Joy Fair as a kid. I remember him and Jr Hanely and Tracia Leslie and Larry Lamay and those were the days. Where the heck is pat Haywood. I would love to talk to him. He was my hero when I was 12
12/5/2007 - Dave Lyall
You are probally correct about the location. I was only 13 (1953) the last time I was there, and could have easily gotten my directions and streets mixed up. I probably was actually at the M-59 Speedway farther west. Joy Fair was the hot dog, so that makes sense about my references actually being about the M-59 speedway. Thank's for your input.
Dave Lyall
6/10/2007 - Chuck Dewey
I'm about 99% certain there was no speedway at M59 / Cass / Eliz Lk roads. I grew up in the area and only remember the M59 Speedway or Bob's Picinic Park farther west on M59 at the second intersection with Elizabeth Lk road. Not so sure about the shopping center either. Somehow I think it's a trailer park now. We could here them racing from where we lived and that would not have been possible if the site was at M59 / Cass / Eliz. Hope this helps.
10/11/2006 - WaterWinterWonderland
Thanks Dave, amazingly there is a K-Mart near both intersections! I know what intersection you mean though because of the proximity to Cass Lake Rd.
10/11/2006 - Dave Lyall
The intersection I was referring to is where the K-Mart is now, in the triangle bordered by M-59, Elizabeth Lake Rd and S. Cass Lake Road. I was just a kid when I attended a race there with the Campbell family in 1953, which was won by Joy Fair in a white 32 Ford 3 window coupe. I was in Pontiac about 25 years ago and asked some locals if anyone remembered the Pontiac Speedway. I was told about the property I described, and told the speedway was razed to build a shopping center. That story fits the K-Mart property.
10/8/2006 - WaterWinterWonderland
Dave - was the intersection you are referring to near where the K-Mart is now in Highland/White Lake or was it the one further down in Waterford? M-59 and Elizabeth Lake Road intersect twice.
Pontiac Speedway - Katlin Fair Bennett From Randy
Katlin Fair Bennett From Randy
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