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Old 08-12-2011, 12:03 PM   #1
EvansRacing
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Default Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

Hi,

Is there anyone on here that went to this speedway in Prairieview LA? There seems to be very limited info/pictures on the internet about this speedway. I believe it was around from the 60s to the early 80s. Site of the 1969 New Orleans Pop Festival.

Thanks,
Cory
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

There is very little info on this track out there, same with pictures.
It was known as Baton Rouge Int'l Speedway, and also Pelican Int'l Speedway.
You picture of the track is taken looking south; the track ran east/west, and the pit area was on the south side. The track was advertised as a 5/8ths mile, but in reality was almost 3/4 mile through the racing groove.

The track has a very checkered history; it was originally built by a man named Ed Grady; he was a teamsters boss. The track is rumored to have been built by the Louisiana Highway Department using taxpayer-bought material, under orders of the LA governor at that time. Not saying it happened that way, but it was never denied...
The governor had a kid who wanted to race, and they had the track built to give him a place to race. The kid was sponsored in part by the LA Tourism Bureau. Funny that, he hardly ever left LA to race, spent the tourism dollars in his his home state. And he could'nt drive a tricycle down a sidewalk, thankfully, he didn't last long.The governor, whose name I can't recall, and the kid both later did time; nothing unusual down there.
The track initially ran friday nights so as not to compete with Houston, Jackson and Mobile, all half mile tracks within 3-4 hours. The friday was an issue, as the traffic from the east around slidell hampered getting to the place.
Track promotion was itself it's own nightmare story. I only got there once, in 1979; last time it ran.
It was originally built about 1966, and was off and on until 1978. The 79 race was the only event that year, twin 50 lap races won by Georgia Hotshoe Ronnie Sanders.
The first event raced at the track was won by David Pearson.
The location is long gone, replaced by housing.
If you go on Bing Maps, the location is easy to find.
If you follow Hwy 73, aka Old Jefferson Highway southeast out of Baton Rouge, look for where it intersects Hwy 42, just North of Prarieville. You will actually be in Oak Grove. Just south of the intersection of 42/73, you will find Charleston Road running east. That was the track entrance. On your original pic, the road that makes a curve south of the track is the now Charleston road.
Just North of Charleston is a road called Race Track road; that runs through the middle of the track footprint.
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

i think red farmer won a few races there also. isn't that where freddy fryar raced for a while? wait i think that was beamont tx?
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Old 08-27-2011, 12:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

The track was indeed a fast one! In reply to TxToms post he has the facts a little out of order. The track was built by a fellow named Grady Partin (spelling?) His financing did come to be questioned later on to put it mildly! The governer was the brash and chrismatic Edwin Ewards. The fact is his son did compete their in a chevelle (64) for a brief time. Although Mr. Partin did get mired up in contraversy he was good to the racers who competed there. I crewed on a car that competed there in the late sixties. I drove some warm up laps there in a 427 Ford powered late
model, and can tell you those concrete walls come at you way fast. Pete Hamilton was clocked there at 166mph by a state trooper with his certified radar gun! The Alabama gang would sometimes come to run there
also. Bobby Allison, Red Farmer, Niel Bonnet and many other hard hitters of the time. Freddy Frier was really fast at this track. It is said the track
was built using the basic design of the Birmingham track. One event we blistered up all our tires trying to get the car set up. Mr. Grady (as we called him) took us to the Goodyear truck and fixed us up with a set for the 50 lap race and 2 spares. It was a cool place to race and I hated to see it go.
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Old 08-27-2011, 12:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

Was that the track that "Moose" Pearah was running?
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Old 08-27-2011, 01:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

He may have had a hand in the track at the end? He was the operator of State Capitol Dragway near Baton Rouge. This track also was mired in money issues with the N.H.R.A. The track remaines active today, but
does not host the Cajun Nationals any longer. I do not know the details of either track so I will not start any rumors. There was also a short track near Kenner Louisiana called Pelican Internatioal Speedway. THe track in Prairieville may have taken that name later?

Last edited by mickeyc; 08-27-2011 at 01:09 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-27-2011, 02:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

There was a lot of folks from here in Louisiana and Texas, Mississippi, Alabama that ran cars there. Freddy Frier, did hold the track record in like 1967-8.
Fast Eddy was not the Gov. then. It was the late Gov. John McKeithen . Grady Parsons?, was part of the deal that went wrong. The Concrete that was used came from a state project. I think it was a damn nice high bank track. I had a lot of fun there.
*The Dixie Mafia* was in on the building of the track.
Now mickeyc that is my 2 cents worth - carry on {:-)
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Last edited by LB+1; 08-27-2011 at 03:00 PM. Reason: spilling
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Old 08-27-2011, 06:21 PM   #8
mickeyc
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Default Re: Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

[QUOTE=LB+1;6898293]There was a lot of folks from here in Louisiana and Texas, Mississippi, Alabama that ran cars there. Freddy Frier, did hold the track record in like 1967-8.
Fast Eddy was not the Gov. then. It was the late Gov. John McKeithen . Grady Parsons?, was part of the deal that went wrong. The Concrete that was used came from a state project. I think it was a damn nice high bank track. I had a lot of fun there.
*The Dixie Mafia* was in on the building of the track.
Now mickeyc that is my 2 cents worth - carry on {:-)[/QUO

If you look into the matter you will find that Edwards was in fact the gov. when his son Stephen was racing a car there. The car was purchased from a local racer in Harahan that I once knew. John Mckithen (spelling?)
may have been the gov at some time during the tracks construction and existence. I can remember Gov. Edwards in the pits when his son was running there on ocsaion. I still do not feel comfortable refering to the Dixie Mafia even today. I still think Mr. Grady's last name was Partin and not Parsons. I could be mistaken.
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Old 08-28-2011, 01:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

I have been asked to remove some things. Because they still don't want to be connected
to anything to do with the Speed Way of note - Sorry lb+1
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Last edited by LB+1; 08-28-2011 at 09:15 PM. Reason: xxxx
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Old 08-28-2011, 04:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by LB+1 View Post
http://www.la-cemeteries.com/Governo...20Julian.shtml

John was governor of Louisiana from 1964/1973 - You are right on the spelling for Partin and the little flat track in Kenner - I think the track closed before Fast Eddy
was governor though? You are down there get us some old articles from the Advocate.
The late Bill Staggs - Royce Earl Whitlock Sr. are two of the car owners from up here.
I drove the hauler for Mr. Staggs #20 Pontiac raced down there for two season then
everybody up here went back to dirt. I thought the track closed in 1969?
OK; on Dixie Blank - Now the little short man who could park in the middle of any street in our fine state and no body dared to touch his car.

The track in Kenner, was at Amedia road and Airline Hwy. I was racing there in 69 & 70 the track there closed about 73 or so and became an insurance storage yard. I was helping Big Bill Porter run his Fords (#84) at the time. I Had heard over the years that a track once existed in Metairie where the old Airline Drive in was. I could never confirm this. A friend showed me some photos of his Grandfather and a 34 Ford dirt tracker that the old man said were taken at said track in Metairie. I was pleased to see these and hope to obtain some copies to post. I have been gathering photos and in formation from folks in this area for a while now and am trying to put together a story on the various racers from the area. At one time there were 4 top fuel teams within a 5 mile radius of here. Also many competition eliminator racers an a few fuel funny cars also. I did know most of these guys at one time or another. I have heard people say that the car culture in Louisiana is lacking. I beg to differ. There were well over a 100 vehicles at a local cruise last night, with many being Hamb type. Anyway I do prattle on, sorry.
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Old 08-28-2011, 04:36 PM   #11
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Default Re: Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

Quote:
The track was built by a fellow named Grady Partin (spelling?)
That may be right; Ed Grady was the name I remember hearing, but Not sure where I heard it.
I have known several area Houston area racers who ran there at one time or another, but they are all aged to the point that they are either too old to remember, not willing to talk about racing anymore, or pushing up daisies......

And it had cement walls? I must have it mistaken with some other track; I thought it had the same style Armco as Meyer in Houson.
must be getting like the drivers....
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Old 08-28-2011, 04:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

which ever way it was,its still another good race track gone. just like b'ham.we are losing them right and left.dang-it
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Old 08-28-2011, 05:30 PM   #13
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Default Re: Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

txtom - I am talking about the same track as you
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Old 08-28-2011, 06:02 PM   #14
John T Conover
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Default Re: Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

Edward Grady Partin
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:39 PM   #15
Mike Rouse
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Default Re: Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

Sadly, I drove on it right before it was demolished.
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:57 PM   #16
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Default Re: Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

John T. Conover

Yes Sir, Told it just like it was - Even down to the The short man - They all liked fast cars though - Wonder if anybody will ever tell the real, Southern Round Track Story?

Mike Rouse

What year was it tore down?
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Old 08-28-2011, 09:57 PM   #17
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Default Re: Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by B.A.KING View Post
i think red farmer won a few races there also. isn't that where freddy fryar raced for a while? wait i think that was beamont tx?
Freddy lived in Beaumont when he was married to A.J. Fasulo's daughter.
There is a dirt track near Beaumont, the nearest asphalt track was Meyer in SW Houston which closed around 1980.

I seem to remember Freddy winning a title at Baton Rouge, but I do remember the year.
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:46 PM   #18
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Default Re: Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

i can remember going to this track when i was a teamster working out of baton rouge
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:54 AM   #19
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Default Re: Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

I have a friend named edde that helped f fryar. After a few races the track owner wanted both of them to stay.. fryar drove lemos for movie stars and other VIPs . Eddie worked or I might say was issued a check.. His main job was to repair fryars race car................................... The eddie helper also brought his dad and several other kin folks from Birmingham to work........................ Back to fryar he also drove the Kennedys Ford sportsman {old GN car} numbered 109................................ Both Fred and Eddie were called to testify by the feds........... The track promoter also liked Ray Putnam and he stayed in LA a long time...... He got a position he could not turn down.................. Huntsville driver Tommy Andrews who drove light weight fords was mailed tow money in advance to race at this track.............................. One last thing the Federal agents rode in a golf cart with the promoter. I don't know if it was for his protection or to keep him from running off.................. When I crewed on a Sporstman car we changed gears 3 times because the track was so fast and we brought B'ham Montgomery gears that were to low............ I will shut up now before I get in trouble.. Bobby.........[/I]

Last edited by k9racer; 09-01-2011 at 01:38 AM. Reason: spel
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:42 AM   #20
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Default Re: Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

I can see F Fryar in my mind - come out of 2 straight to the top then dive to the bottom starting into 3 he drove that track like a crop duster pilot. His Orange car
sounded like a P-38 (lol)

When I called a 89 year old for pictures - I was told no - because there is still bitterness - Don't you remember C.P. and that bunch - It was not for the week of hart place.
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