America is littered with the remains of old race tracks from days gone by. Be they paved or dirt-coated, these speedways have been abandoned for one reason or another, and today, we’re going to take a look at Confederate Speedway in South Carolina.
Confederate Speedway was built in 1950 as a quarter-mile dirt oval that only lasted for about five years before being abandoned. There was an effort to revive it again in 1970, at which point it was given a massive overhaul that turned it into a three-fifths mile oval. It hosted stock car racing events until 1989, when a local zoning committee shut it down. Since then, there have been a handful of races in an effort to revive the Speedway, but no one has been successful, and it lies in ruins.
But the coolest part is that S1apSh0es over on YouTube actually went out to the location to scout it out as part of his series on abandoned race tracks. It’s worth checking out the video below:
Part of what saw the track’s demise was the fact that it was a pain in the ass to get to. There’s a massively competitive short track racing scene in South Carolina that you really need an edge over everyone else to stay competitive, and having a difficult-to-reach track wasn’t the way to go.
And since it was located in a small town, S1apSh0es notes that locals reported to local papers that they hated the track. There’s a common perception that racing is always good, since it brings paying customers to local businesses. But in reality, it just clogged up the streets and prevented everyone from traveling on a Saturday evening. In the morning, the red dust kicked up from the track would be coating literally everything. It was more of a nuisance than anything else.
It’s been sitting empty since the 1990s and has been overtaken by foliage since then. There are some vague remains of things like grandstands and light poles, but it’s not anything particularly impressive—which some folks have argued is a bit of a downer, considering this is where legendary racer David Pearson got his start.