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Mid America Raceway
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 Road Racing at Mid America Raceway

Mid America Raceway opened in 1963 upon the completion of the drag strip.  This was 60 feet wide and one-quarter mile long.  The sports car circuit was completed at the end of 1965 and resembled a country road winding through the surrounding rolling hills.  It's 2.86 miles of thrity feet wide asphalt encompassed seven right and three left turns and used the drag strip for a 3800 foot straight-away.

In 1966 it was the location of one of the first SCCA Trans Am events and also was home to many drag racing and motorcycle racing events. 

In 1984 a road course was built at the St Louis International Raceway (which had been a drag-strip only course in prior years) and this proved to be the downfall of the sports car circuit in Wentzville.  Drag races were held here for several years after the road course fell into disrepair.  The latest news I've heard is that the property was sold and the area has turned into a housing development:

11/18/04 - MAR closes

Mid-America Raceway, in Wentzville, Mo. opened in April 1963, holding its first drag race in June of that year. Its last event was held on October 31, 2004, when urban sprawl claimed another racetrack's life. Insurance issues and the loss of Ann Vehige, wife of track operator Clem Vehige, who passed away in August 2004, along with the growing residential presence in the neighborhood, were reasons cited by Steve Stahlschmidt, an employee of the track for the past ten years. The sale of the property is in progress now, and several buildings along with the the bleachers have been donated to a local park.

The course was nestled in the rolling hills of eastern missouri about 25 miles outside of St Louis and I've always felt that it was the best track in the world for spectators.  The infield was filled with trees and hills that offered great views of the track while providing plenty of shade. The paddock area was located in the southern end of the strip between turn 1 and turn 4 and the rest of the infield was open for wandering around to get the best views. 

Turn one was very exciting because it was a 90 degree right coming off of the drag strip and right in the middle of the apex was a 3 foot high retaining wall where a pedestrian bridge crossed to bleachers on the outfield side.  At the exit of 1 on the other side was a steep embankment so that if you entered 1 too hot you could very well end halfway up a dirt hill.  It was quite thrilling to stand right on the top of the retaining wall and watch the cars hitting the apex literally inches from your feet. 


If you have any pictures or stories from MAR that you'd like to share please send them in.

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Copyright 2006 - Jim Sneddon-- last updated on Wednesday, May 17, 2006