Beech Bend Raceway is one of our home tracks. Brian grew up in the Northeast, Chad has California and Texas under his belt, and raced at plenty of tracks out West long before I moved to Kentucky, but few locations welcome us with open arms as does that little strip by the river in Bowling Green. The Jones family, with patriarch Dallas observing all and grandson Broc Porter handling operations, have long been friends of ours and we go through a multitude of events there every year, including the big shows that Holley puts on, Street Car Takeovers, drift events, the Tri-Five Nationals, NMCA/NMRA races, the Outlaw Street Car Reunion and more. It’s where I started my career, it’s the only track I’ve announced at, and every year we look forward to reconnecting with everyone.
With a history that stretches back to the early 1940s as a racing track (and longer as a park in general for the area), Beech Bend has a lot of stories to tell. We know things like the famous covered grandstands and the seats that came from Sulphur Dell Stadium in Nashville, and that if you look at satellite imagery you can make out part of the original track that was used up until the early 1970s. There are plenty of photos from events over the years from a legion of photographers, but video? That’s not so easy to come by, especially in the early days. Unless you happen to know where the family treasure trove of 8mm film reels are at! Check out this clip from the early 1960s that features the Joie Chitwood Thrill Show putting on a show for the fans in early Chevy IIs!