Shangri-La Speedway

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TIOGA Motorsports Park 1991–2005

Shangri-La Speedway was a speedway in Owego, New York. It was a half-mile (0.8 km) oval race track facility. Over a span of fifty years, Shangri-La hosted automobile races of various kinds, AAA Championship Cars, stock cars, Modifieds, Supermodifieds, and supporting classes. Shangri-La's weekly racing was widely considered among the best in the sport during several different periods, including years when nine-time NASCAR National Modified Champion Richie Evans and six-time NASCAR National Modified Champion Jerry Cook were regulars. The facility also included an eighth-mile (0.2 km) drag strip and a tenth-mile oval track for microds (a type of wooden-bodied go-kart raced in many clubs in upstate New York). Its formal name was changed to Shangri-La Motor Speedway (in use from 1979 to 1991) and to Tioga Motorsports Park (in use from 1992 to 2005), but most racers and fans still referred to it as "Shangri-La".

Track history

Shangri-La Speedway was opened in 1946 by Bill Owen who planned and built the track with help of family members; was re-opened in 1959 by a group of area drag racers; and was re-opened in 1962 by Fran Gitchell. It was closed in 1956 due to neglect and small crowds; was closed in 1959 after a few drag events; and was finally closed for good after 2005 to allow gravel mining from the property. The track itself is all gone and all grandstands and buildings have been demolished.

A replacement track in nearby Tioga Center, known as Shangri-La II Motor Speedway, opened in 2009 and closed after an abbreviated 2015 season.

Photo gallery

Weekly featured division and sanctioning body

  • 1946–48: ESRA (Eastern States Racing Association) Sprints
  • 1949: ESRA Sprints and unsanctioned Stock Cars
  • 1950–56: unsanctioned Stock Cars
  • 1959: NASCAR drag racing
  • 1962–64: unsanctioned Supermodifieds and Modifieds
  • 1965–72: unsanctioned Modifieds
  • 1973–75: NASCAR Modifieds
  • 1976–78: NEARA (Northeast Auto Racing Association) Modifieds
  • 1979–2000: NASCAR Modifieds
  • 2001–2005: unsanctioned Modifieds

Visits by major touring series

Track regulars who went on to Cup racing

References

  • "Through the Years at Shangri-La: The Final Chapter". Monnat, Michael E. Gater Racing News, August 26, 2005.
  • Bourcier, Bones. RICHIE!: The Fast Life and Times of NASCAR's Greatest Modified Driver (1st ed., 2004). Newburyport, Massachusetts, USA: Coastal 181. ISBN 0-9709854-6-0.
  • Mark Southcott, NYRaceZone.com

External links

  • Official Website
  • Shangri-La II official website
  • Oswego Speedway page at racing-reference.info

Coordinates: 42°05′36″N 76°16′58″W / 42.0933°N 76.2828°W / 42.0933; -76.2828

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