About “The Big O”
Owosso Speedway is a fixture in the Motorsports history books in the great state of Michigan. The 2016 racing season at the Big “O” will be the tracks’ 76th year of operation. The track is currently a 3/8ths mile progressively banked, paved oval with a seating capacity of 3,500 fans.
In 1939 the track opened up as a 1/4 mile dirt oval. Then for two years in 1944 and 1945, the track closed the doors on Auto Racing to serve as a Prisoners of War (P.O.W.) Camp during World War II.
The race track reopened for Auto Racing in 1946 with a new 1/2 mile dirt oval surrounding the existing 1/4 mile dirt track and operated this way until 1953, when just the 1/4 mile was paved while the 1/2 mile remained a dirt oval! The track stayed that way until 1972 when the 1/2 mile was also paved. It was in 1983 when the pavement was removed from both tracks and the historical facility operated as both a 1/2 mile and 1/4 mile dirt track once again.
For the 1989 racing season, under the Simko Family ownership, the track was completely redesigned to its current 3/8s Mile High-Banked Paved Oval configuration and still today, is regarded as one of the raciest speedways in the United States with constant side by side racing with two and even three race-able grooves.
In 2000, Karl Keifer and Donnie Shaw purchased the facility while Keifer alone was the owner for the 2003 season. At the end of that year, Bighause Inc., bought the speedway from Keifer and ran the facility beginning with the 2004 campaign.
In April of 2006, a Dirt Figure 8 track was constructed inside the infield of the 3/8s mile pavement.
Today, Owosso Speedway is one of the premiere short tracks in the state of Michigan featuring constant side by side action and fun for the whole family. Over the years legends such as the late Benny Parsons, Gordon Johncock, Dick Trickle, Mark Martin, Ryan Newman, Kenny Schrader, Matt Kenseth, the late Joe Shear, and Michigan’s own Johnny Benson Jr., have raced here.
More recently, Michigan grown NASCAR Champions Brad Keselowski and Erik Jones were regular competitors at this track. Erik Jones will always call Owosso Speedway his “Home” track as he notched his first ever Feature Victory at the tender age of 13! Look for Erik to make appearances here as he visits his Home track on his off weekends. Erik grew up just 30 miles away in Byron Michigan.
In addition many members of the Michigan Hall of Fame such as Ovid’s own, Jim Aldrich, St. Johns native, Kris Patterson, Tom Maier, Willie, Butch, and Gary Fedewa, Mike Eddy, Bill Whittington, “The Flying’ Farmer” Dave Mulder, Owosso’s Resident Son, Tim Felver, and many more have all called Owosso Speedway home in past years.
Today, established stars such as 12-time Modified Track Champion, Bill Luckhurst leads a parade of established veterans and rising stars who will be racing at Owosso Speedway every Saturday night from April-September. In addition, Ed Young Jr., Leo Smith, Mark Welch, Steve Bates Jr., Laci Donnert, Tony Basalone, Erik Jones, Jimmy Stratton, Pat Standley, Rod Laney, Shaun Conner, Amber Slagle, Marq Eaton, Harley Smith, and so many more make Saturday nights at the Big “O” a must see weekend of fun.
Over the years Families have played a vital role in the success of Owosso Speedway. From the Fedewa’s to the Finley’s, to the Morence’s, to the Mulder’s, to the Simko’s and so many more. Some of the most successful drivers in Michigan Motorsports started their careers at the Ovid, Michigan speed plant.
Please come out and sample some of Michigan’s premiere side by side racing every Saturday night and bring a friend or two. You’ll always be welcomed by smiling faces at Owosso Speedway; It’s “Who” we are!