Dayton Speedway: After owner’s death, remembering the long-time auto racing track

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Dayton Speedway: After owner’s death, remembering the long-time auto racing track

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Skip Peterson
An aerial view of the aftermath of a crash that killed driver Gordon Reid in 1952 at Dayton Speedway. Reid's car hit the grandstand at the right side of the photo, killing three spectators and injuring many more. Skip Peterson Collection
  • Story Highlights
  • Donald Flory, who owned Dayton Speedway from 1975-82, recently passed away.
  • The track served as a test for those who aspired to race at the Indianapolis 500.

Dayton native Donald Flory, 70, recently passed away while residing in Bradenton, Fla. He was a veteran in U.S. Navy and had retired from the family farm in Tipp City. 

Flory owned the former Dayton Speedway from the mid-70’s until it shut down for good in 1982. 

In 1975, Flory quit his job and sold his house to lease the speedway with his business partner David Thompson. 

The raceway, which once brought crowds of 10,000, had a long history in Dayton and produced many acclaimed drivers. 

Here are some things to know about the former speedway:

1. The speedway ran its first official race on June 3, 1934, and through the years it hosted races for NASCAR, ARCA, and AAA. 

2. The Dayton Speedway had an unusual D-shape track with high banks that challenged drivers through the entire half mile. In 1952, Jim Rigsby was sent speeding up the 30-degree embankment and shot 20-feet into the air after contact with another car. It was a several-story drop on the other side straight down. 

3. Sprint car racer Joie Ray, former Dayton resident Larry Moore and others raced at the Dayton Speedway. The track served as a test for those who aspired to race at the Indianapolis 500. 

4. The raceway was shut down due to World War II in the 1940s.

5. In 1982, the raceway was shut down permanently and it has since been turned into a landfill. Steve Rauch Inc. now resides at the location of the former speedway.

Location of the former Dayton Speedway:

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