Abandoned race tracks are some of the most eerily mesmerizing things there are. In a way, it’s beautiful to see the earth reclaim something its inhabitants couldn’t keep alive. But you know that not even the eery beauty will last forever, because eventually, there won’t be anything left.
For just under two decades, the roaring noise of race cars rang out from Central Texas Speedway in rural Kyle, Texas. Today, the only sounds coming from the track are that of the bulldozers.
From what we’ve seen in trailers, Cars 3 is all about the future of racing. The new kids are fast, Lightning McQueen doesn’t understand their “digital racing simulations,” and he’s got a big wreck to recover from. But the movie will also have a token to the past, with Lightning visiting an abandoned ghost track.
When you try to track down the owner of a long-defunct and almost forgotten race track in Central Texas, and numerous people tell you the person you’re after is actress Sandra Bullock, there are plenty of reasons not to believe them.
Other than a weekend flea market that draws a decent crowd, things are pretty quiet at the corner of U.S. 183 and FM 812 in southeast Austin. There’s a VFW post, a small Circle K gas station and scattered Mexican restaurants.
The past few weeks, for me, have been full of researching and interviewing people about an old short track that used to draw crowds to southeast Austin every Friday night. My research has left me search for other closed tracks in Texas, and I’ve realized that they’re a lot harder to find than I thought.
For those of you who, like me, love looking at abandoned places and establishments, then you’ll really dig this seven minute, drone-shot video of Maryland’s abandoned 75-80 Dragway.
For every thriving motorsports facility in the U.S., we all know of a few that didn’t make it. Some speedways even sit in ruins, former crowd and car noise left a hollow shell. But, at least the tracks still have one thing—people with enough appreciation for what once was to help the legacies live on.
Racing has never been a cheap endeavor, and that goes for the venues that host racing as well. One day a race track can be home to cars thundering down the asphalt before thousands of cheering fans, only to turn into an abandoned, weedy eyesore when their fortunes change for the worse. These are the stories of some of…