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Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by EvansRacing, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. EvansRacing
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    EvansRacing Member

    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

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  2. txtom
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    txtom Member

    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.
  3. B.A.KING
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    B.A.KING Member

    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?
  4. mickeyc
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    mickeyc
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    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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  5. 51 BIRD
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    51 BIRD Member

    Was that the track that "Moose" Pearah was running?
  6. mickeyc
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    mickeyc
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    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: Aug 27, 2011
  7. LB+1
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    LB+1 Member

    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 {:)
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  8. mickeyc
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    mickeyc
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  9. LB+1
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    LB+1 Member

    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
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  10. mickeyc
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    mickeyc
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    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.
  11. txtom
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    txtom Member

    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....
  12. B.A.KING
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    B.A.KING Member

    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
  13. LB+1
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    LB+1 Member

    txtom - I am talking about the same track as you
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  14. John T Conover
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    John T Conover Member

  15. Mike Rouse
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    Mike Rouse Member

    Sadly, I drove on it right before it was demolished.
    Mike
  16. LB+1
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    LB+1 Member

    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?
  17. txtom
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    txtom Member

    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.
  18. DERPR30
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    DERPR30 Member

    i can remember going to this track when i was a teamster working out of baton rouge
  19. k9racer
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    k9racer Member

    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: Sep 1, 2011
  20. LB+1
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    LB+1 Member

    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.
  21. mickeyc
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    mickeyc
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    Hello Mike did you drive a white early chevelle? I think the car belonged to Jay Cherier if my remenber works at all?
  22. chryjoe
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    chryjoe Member

    Its sad to see the great tracks go ! Just due to bad management & economy. I pass there all the time & drove through . all that is left is some stinken houses now! So So So Sad Thanks Chryjoe
  23. bluegill
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    bluegill Member

    i can see fryer leading bobby a red farmer neal b out of his class they didnot know he was the class at pelican dad worked gate for pits new papy gonzalas rat lane ray putman tommy martin chuck arnald and more
  24. oil4kids
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    oil4kids Member

    my 67 Biscayne ran at Banton Rouge, looking for pictures any ideas?
  25. TANNERGANG
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    TANNERGANG Member

    I lettered many race cars that got tore up there.....Jerry Mullins, Ival Cooper, Dalton Corlett, Stewart England, Wayne niedecker and Jr, Jodie Ridley, Phil Wendt, Bud Nelson, Royce Johnston, Rufus Johnson, Dickie Davis, Dale Hammac, Gene Tapia, Rat ( Charles Clifton) Lane...my Buddy.........Dun By Don Signs.....I hear from Rat pretty often...talked to Freddie Fryar and Dickie Davis at the Snowball Derby a few weeks ago.....man, we're getting old.....One driver that was friends with the Governors son was Rick Crawford...he stayed at the Gov's Manion a few times.....Governor landed a Helicopter on the straight-a-way one Saturday night to watch his son race....Rick is now the promoter at Mobile Int'l Speedway now....took over in 2011...he's done a Great job and we look for more in the next year...ARCA will be there in March....look up the track at www.mobilespeedway.net
    My friend Charlie Moore had a book with Hundreds of pictures in it...when he passed away we made copies of it...I happen to have one of them...it has Nascar, Snowball Derby starting sheets and newspaper articles of different drivers.....This thread got me to wondering and I've just got it out to look throught again.......take care...hate I rambled on so much..but the racing industry has been about 85% of my business since 1971.........40 years last March.
  26. k9racer
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    k9racer Member

    On the web site miss chicken # 34 has a lot about Mississippi and some stories from LA.
  27. Mark Glover
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    Mark Glover Member

    I was raised in Baton Rouge and my dad used to take me and my brother to Pelican Int'l on Friday nights. When I was going John McKeithen (1964-72) was governor. I don't know about the politics of the track but I do remember the Teamster boss Ed Partin was running the show at the track. Ed was played by Brian Dennehy in the movie Hoffa. Fast Eddie may have had a hand in it later on when he was governor but he wasn't governor when I was going to the track. I remember the track being closed for several years and then it was bought by Aldo Andretti in the early 80's. It had to be around 81 or 82. I worked with several teamsters including Ray Putnam at River Bend Station from 80 thru 84, my first real job. Andretti held one race at the track, a Nascar sanctioned Late Model (Ray Putnam and the King's nephew Richie Petty was driving in it) race before it closed for good.

    And Freddy Fryer was the fastest on the track when I was a kid.
  28. rybert
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    rybert Member

    I could not resist responding to your description. I probably know you. Here is the history: I went to school with Randy Porter (Big Bill Porter's son) there in Metairie. At the time, Bill owned the Spur Station on Airline Highway. He was running Fords at the 3/8's mile track out on Amedia Road. My Uncle Bud went in with him and provided some financing and they replaced the Ford with a '56 Chevy. I remember Peaches and those awful hamburgers in the foil. My little brother, Bruce, and I would go to the station on Saturday mornings to wash the car and then watch all day to see if it was going to rain. Occasionally, we would venture to the tracks in Pensacola, Laurel, Jackson, etc and that was big time! We were actually at a race in Pensacola in December of 1972 with my Uncle Bud (Lewis) when we got word that my father had passed away. I didn't know until we got home. The racing out at the track on Amedia Road was a big part of my memories with my dad. He and my Uncle Bud would sit and drink beer until they couldn't see while we ran around with our flags and red #84 shirts and just have a ball. I remember times when Freddy Fryar would show up in his black and red '65 Chevelle, #301, Chuck Arneaux and others. What was the guy's name that had the yellow plymouth with the big fins, #8? Later on, around 1978, I went to the track in Prairieview a few times while I was home from college. That was a beautiful track in my eyes. Thanks for stirring the memories. Please let me know if you know where Randy is. I would love to say hi. It's probably been close to 40 years since I last spoke to him.
  29. rybert
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    rybert Member

    I remember some of that too. Freddy was the fastest at almost all of the tracks he raced at!
  30. rybert
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    rybert Member

    I went there a few times in the late 70's. Spent a lot of time at the little 3/8's mile track off of Airline Highway and Amedia Road outside of Kenner. Great fun and memories!

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