Lost Jacksonville: The Story of Speedway Park

November 4, 2015 13 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Today, at the intersection of Lenox Avenue and Plymouth Street, you will find the Lenox Court apartment complex.  However, long before this development was built, this intersection was home to an interesting piece of Jacksonville’s history—Speedway Park.

Speedway Park, sometimes referred to as Jacksonville Speedway, was a popular racing track in Jacksonville’s Westside. The track itself was a bit rickety. It was a dirt oval road that measured about a half a mile around and had only two turns. The stands were made of splintered wood and the track itself had many potholes and ruts. This often lent itself to several crashes and many necessary, and time consuming, mid-race repairs.

Speedway Park. Courtesy of Real Racin USA Motor Sports Forum.

Speedway Park was owned by Pat Patrick, who tried to put on racing shows every weekend for Jacksonville locals. Patrick also happened to own the burger joint, Pat’s Drive-In, around the corner from the speedway, and oftentimes race-goers would stop by there for a bite to eat. The track officially opened in 1947, and over the years would become a spot for local box car races, the Duval County Exposition, and most notably, the NASCAR Grand National Series.

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