A Look at Abandoned Lakeland International Raceway
Near Memphis, Tennessee.
1999 release on video and DVD of Monte Hellman's film 'Two-Lane Blacktop'
prompted me to pay a visit to the grounds of the Lakeland International
Raceway; a track that made its debut on July 4th, 1960 as Lake Land
'Two-Lane Blacktop' made it's theatrical debut in New York City on the
Fourth of July weekend too.) Almost ten years after I started this site,
in 2009 the last remains of this once vibrant track were scooped up by
heavy equipment and hauled off in dump trucks to make way for more of the
same, mixed use development.
Closed in 1979, this track saw a lot of action in its heyday hosting major
NHRA, AHRA and IHRA events. The best names in drag racing have
traveled this asphalt; Jungle Jim, Dyno Don, Arnie "The Farmer"
Beswick, Shirl Greer, Bob Glidden, Lee Shepherd, Shirley Muldowney, Tommy
Ivo, Eddie Hill, Gene Snow and many more! In 1972 Big Daddy Don Garlits set an AHRA
national E.T. record, traversing Lakeland Raceway in 5.95 seconds. He
returned in 1973 and laid down drag racing's quickest pass of the time,
5.79 seconds; a number that stood with NHRA for almost two years.
A road course constructed on the
site in the late 60's which integrated the dragstrip as a long straightaway even hosted
SCCA and USAC races. A.J. Foyt, Roger McCluskey and Parnelli Jones
competed here in the Memphis 200. After you tour the track,
check out 'the old days' section, the
article archive and the 'WHBQ' section where you'll see some of the
exciting action that took
If you have any stories, photos etc.
to share related to Lakeland International Raceway feel free to contact
me and sign the guestbook. I'm sure there are plenty of interesting memories out there. This site can serve as a gathering place for
all things Lakeland International Raceway. (Thanks to all those who have contributed
In the meanwhile, enjoy your look
around this ghost track.
- A new name and a new look for a new era. MMP is now MIR; Memphis
International Raceway. That has familiar ring to it. Slated to open in
April under IHRA sanctioning, the track will also feature weekly racing
and test-and-tune. Great news race fans!|
news was reported today. Memphis Motorsports Park lives on after FL investor Joe Lubeck purchased it at auction on 12/14/2010!
- The fate of Memphis Motorsports park is nearing. The entire facility
is slated to be auctioned
off Tuesday morning, Dec. 14. Hopefully we'll have good news at the
conclusion of the auction.
- The 2010 Reunion page is up! There's a cool video and dozens of photos; check
- The Reunion at Holly Springs Motorsports was a blast! Coming soon will
be a bunch of photos from the event and even some more old stuff I
picked up along the way. Meanwhile, enjoy the event coverage at www.dragracingonline.com.
- In case you missed the banner above, there will be an awesome Lakeland
Dragstrip Reunion Nov. 5-7. This will be taking
place at the Holly Springs Dragstrip. Stay tuned for details!
- Join the growing number of supporters of reopening Memphis Motorsports
Let's not let it get away like Lakeland.
- Local racer Larry Langston has shared his Lakeland Raceway photos. Click
- Get ready! From the site that originated the 'ghost track' Web
tribute, you're about to experience time travel. The time machine has
been set to bring you back to Lakeland Raceway in the early '70s. Stay
- The 2009 Memphis Rodders Reunion will take place at the Al
Chymia Shriner's Temple, 5770 Shelby Oaks Drive, in Memphis TN on
Thursday, November 19th. This is the Thursday before Thanksgiving, which
is the customary date for the reunion. Don't miss it! More
- Memphis Motorsports Park officially fell silent this afternoon after a
final Saturday of racing and Test & Tune. It was an absolutely
spectacular day weather-wise to say good bye to this great facility.
- I can hardly believe it but the very successful Memphis
Motorsports Park was closed today by owners Dover Motorsports. This
track layout is reminiscent of Lakeland's with the drag strip doubling
as a long straight on a road course that snakes around the right-hand
side, a structure over the start line and even stock car racing 'across
the street'. MMP has been hosting over 200 events per year including
NHRA Full Throttle Series, NASCAR Trucks & Stock Cars, NMCA, etc. attracting
in excess of a half million fans. Can MMP be saved or is it doomed to be
the next chapter in former Memphis racing facilities?
here for Lakeland International Raceway scenes from Two-Lane Blacktop.
Does anyone remember
this track? If you have stories, pictures of memorabilia, e-mail
me. I'd like to collect information to start a little site about this old
The picture to
the left contains yet another abandoned, Memphis area dragstrip.
Do you know what it was?