Ghost Tracks -
5/8 mile dirt oval
Located on the north side of Highway 20, just east of the town of
is how Bismark Speedway looked in September of 2003. Bismark
was a wide, fast, high banked dirt oval. It opened in 1976 and
closed in 1980. There was also a quarter-mile oval built within
the main oval.
A low berm was built along the outside of the front straight
that supported grandstand seating for 1,500. The washroom building
was built of concrete block with flush toilets. The washrooms
must have been top quality in their day and probably better
than many tracks I've been to recently. The officials' tower
was built above the concession stand.
The track was built by Albert Vanderliek, who still owned the
property when I visited it. The 5/8 mile oval was built first,
intended for stock car racing. Local legislation held up the
opening for stock cars so Mr. Vanderliek reworked the track
into a 1.5 mile off-road course. Racing was held on alternate
Sundays. In 1980 he gave up on the off-road racing and reformed
the oval. About 6 events were held that year and the track did
After the track closed, the family flooded the infield and it
is now the home to many ducks. This area is quite popular with
local bird-watchers. The track surface is gone but you can see
the banking and where the track was. The grandstands are still
there, although the wood is rotting and the scrub is growing
through. The washroom building still stands, along with the
spectator fence, the starter's stand and the officials' tower/concession
If anyone has any more information on Bismark Speedway - photos,
programs, points champions, etc please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr. Vanderliek passed away in February, 2007.