The Historic 441 Speedway

441 Speedway, Coming Back To Life


The Historic 441 Speedway

441 Speedway, Coming Back To Life

Memories are tucked away in many different places. For some they are in high school achievements. Others, memorable trips with loved ones. For any race fan lucky enough to live in Middle Georgia, many of our race day memories, are tucked away in a 3/8, high banked oval of red clay. Known to many as 441 Speedway.

Built in the 1960’s, this track has seen its fair share of changes. In my lifetime I have seen it run as 441 Speedway, with pits in the center, fierce competition, and some dang good racing. I’ve seen it paved for a short stent, just to be closed again. I’ve seen it reopened return to dirt and be known as Patriots Park, just to close again. Most recently it had a short run as “The Vintage 441 Speedway”, only to close its gates once more. Regardless of the reason for its closure it has always been missed by drivers and fans alike.

I get to meet and talk racing with a lot of people on this race adventure, and most conversations about Georgia tracks find their way to the topic of 441 Speedway. It’s always with the same sentiment “Man I miss that place”, or “I’ve seen a lot of good racing at that track”. I can always count on this one, “I remember this one race when…….” Personally, one memory that always comes to my mind, was years ago when a car took out a chunk of the turn 3 wall, I mean removed it, as in, there was no existing wall the width of the car. As any good ole southern dirt track would do a trusty backhoe was parked in the gap and racing continued. Ohhh, those were the days!

This track has always produced some great racing. Considered by many to be a drivers track. It presented drives with challenges, it made them think, once a line was picked you were committed. The steep banking was ever changing as was the surface. It got faster as the night went on, with side-by-side battles, amazing passes for the lead, and turn 4 exit races to the checkered were always a sight to behold. Drivers and fans alike love this place.

We have been without this jewel for a while now. Race fans and drivers alike all have the punch in the gut feeling as we drove Hwy 441 and see the old friend waving to us as we pass by the familiar sign, fence and backside banking of turns 3&4. Well Guys, the wait is finally over, we will hear the engines roar and see the mud fly again. This beauty is set to reopen for the 2024 race season. Thanks to Sam Ussery and Josh Howell we can expect to see some great old school racing as this this high-banked beauty takes shape again.

Shane and I paid a visit to 441 on Saturday and It was like visiting an old friend. My first stop, of course, was the flag stand. This view is like no other, the clay just begs to be raced.

As most folks know I Love the old school feel of a 3/8 dirt track. The track still has all the character of the old friend we remember. The old painted wall in one and two is still there (hopefully it will stay) the paint is chipping and bears the signs of hard-fought battles, and bad decisions. And there are still a few of the old grandstands. While these are not the best for viewing the front straight away, they always have their regulars who wouldn’t dream of sitting anywhere else. And. by the way, this is where you want to be if you want to hear all the good stories, and track history.

As I have already mentioned, this lady has banking. While I cannot seem to get a definite on the actual degree, it will suffice to say that it’s a lot. For some reason that I cannot explain it’s different. I’m not sure if it is the point of entry, or the transition from turn to straightaway. I can say it makes for some great racing. I can assume that it’s these things that make it a “racers” track. Seasoned veterans can have their hands full when she decides to show out. There is not one class that outshines another on the track. She isn’t biased when it comes to cars, she will challenge them all.

In keeping with that “Old School” feeling the property is dotted with original red, white, and blue buildings. Concession stands and restrooms are in convenient locations both in the pits as well as the fan area.

If you are not fortunate enough to have memories stored away of this testy, bad-tempered Southern Lady then make plans to join other passionate dirt track fans and make you a few of your own. For those of us who are able to pull a favorite from the race files tucked away in the ole memory bank, get ready cause we are about to add to the file.

The Historic 441 Speedway will open its gates on March 22nd for an open practice session in all divisions. With racing to follow on the 23rd.

Regular Classes as of now 602 Late Model (CRUSA), 602 Chargers, Street Stock (CRUSA), Road Warrior, Crown Vic Pros, and Crown Vic Jr’s, other classes will be added for special events. Along with all these classes, there will be special events added as the race calendar develops.

Ussery and Howell would like to personally invite everyone, and they encourage you to bring a friend as they work diligently to get this beauty out of storage and race ready. Every effort is being made to accommodate local tracks in the area. The race schedule can be found on their temporary page 441 Speed Machine & Fab.

See You in The Stands, lets go racin and make some memories.

Cindy Brett My View From The Stands.

Submitted By: Clint Doll

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