Why is a gigantic, two-mile oval that once hosted IndyCar, NASCAR, ARCA and more now sitting dormant outside a college town in Texas? Dale Earnhardt Jr. seeks answers by visiting America’s only lost superspeedway.
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Not many people get to chase their dreams and end up standing in the exact same spot as their heroes, but that’s exactly what David Starr did at Texas World Speedway. After growing up attending races at the superspeedway with his family and watching the legends of the sport that he admired like AJ Foyt and Richard Petty stand in victory lane on the frontstretch, he would find his way there in a Texas Race of Champions late model event in 1996. The triumph was one rung on Starr’s way up the racing ladder, where he would go on to win four times in the NASCAR Camping World Truck series. Starr continues to race today in all three divisions of NASCAR, but he’ll never forget that 1996 win celebration when he stood on the same patch of asphalt that his heroes graced before. David would join the Lost Speedways crew at the track to speak on that experience and what impact growing up at the races there had on him.
Johnny Rutherford is one of America’s greatest open wheel racers, rising from dominant performances in the sprint car ranks to being a three-time Indianapolis 500 Champion. Known as “Lone Star JR” due to his Texas residence, Rutherford would defend the nickname proudly on the state’s biggest racing stage, achieving seven top-5 finishes in only eight starts at Texas World Speedway. Two of his 30 career Championship Car victories would come at the two-mile speedway, in 1976 and 77. He would go on to win the 1980 CART Championship with five victories before officially retiring from racing in 1994. He would go on to be inducted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sprint Car and American Motorsports Hall of Fames. Rutherford appeared on Lost Speedways to tell viewers of his experiences at Texas World Speedway, including a fierce battle with fellow Texan AJ Foyt in 1978.
Watch Lost Speedways Season 2, Episode 5 "Lonely Star" from Texas World Speedway on Peacock TV.