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Motor Racing

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Baer Field Speedway ceases operations

Officials announced Wednesday that, effective immediately, Baer Field Speedway is ceasing operations.

Promoter Jon Raney, a former racer and owner of Jonny-on-the-Spot Delivery Service, took over the facility in late 2012 after the retirement of the late Tom Isch, made the announcement in a statement.

Under his leadership, the facility saw sweeping changes, with modernized facilities; a project to clean and freshen up the facility; increases to the weekly prize money; and new shows aimed at bringing in new fans.

The track opened in 1963 as Sportsman's Park, a one-fifth-mile paved road course for go-karts, and officially became Baer Field Speedway the next year when the half-mile asphalt oval opened on 45 acres of land leased from owner John Weisenauer.

Over the next half-century, the place saw some things. Eight NASCAR champions and a dozen Daytona 500 winners have run Baer Field. Ditto four Indianapolis 500 winners (Bobby and Al Unser Sr., Gordon Johncock, Johnny Rutherford). In September 1965, Bobby Unser set a track record for sprint cars that stood for 12 years.

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