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.2007 Lakeside Speedway Centennial Celebration.


The Green Dragon with Barney at the wheel

The Green Dragon with Barney at the wheel

In 1907 an event took place that would forever change the look of auto racing. This was the opening of the Lakeside Auto Speedway in Lakeside, California, a little resort town in the foothills of San Diego County. The Lakeside Auto Speedway was claimed to be the first purpose-built auto racing facility in the country. Now races could be held off the dangerous public roads and horserace tracks, which are not ideally suited to cars.

Because of the significance of this milestone 100 years ago the Lakeside Historical Society is organizing a 2007 Centennial celebration at the site of the original Speedway. This event will be highlighted by a gathering of the finest antique racecars and other vehicles from the era of 1907 though 1919. These historic vehicles will be on display to the public and will be invited to a parade around the roads closely following the path of the original speedway. This running display will enable spectators to visualize what the speedway atmosphere must have been like a century ago.

The public is invited to participate, either with a historic vehicle or as a spectator.

The Lakeside Auto Speedway was constructed by John H. Gay, owner of the Lakeside Inn. This spectacular Victorian hotel was located adjacent to Lindo Lake in the town of Lakeside, California. The Inn was a tourist attraction due to its beautiful country location and easy access from San Diego via railroad. To improve business at the Inn the owner, Mr. Gay, invested $10,000 in construction of the speedway. The Speedway was a 2-mile high-speed oval circling Lindo Lake adjacent to the Lakeside Inn. 

The first event featured perhaps the best-known driver in the country, Barney Oldfield. Huge crowds arriving by train watched him pilot his Green Dragon racer to a new speed record. The opening of Lakeside Auto Speedway initiated a successful run of events that continued until the Inn closed in 1920. The history surrounding the Inn and the Speedway is being collected and documented by the Lakeside Historical Society. A selection of historical publications including period photos will be available for viewing and purchase at the event.

The centennial celebration of the Lakeside Auto Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, November 18, 2007 at the Lakeside Community Center in Lindo Lake Park , 25 miles east of San Diego. The event’s presenting sponsor is Barona, famed for its popular Indian gaming casino, and location of the only remaining racing speedway in San Diego County. The Barona Resort Casino and luxury hotel are located six miles north of downtown Lakeside. The Lakeside Historical Society has its headquarters and museum at the historic Olde Community Church at 9906 Maine Avenue.  

For event entry information contact Fred Puhn, Entry Chairman, at (619) xxx-xxxx.

For information on the Lakeside Historical Society call (619) 561-1886.    

The smooth track surface was state-of-the-art in 1907. The Lakeside Inn appears in the background at the top left and the historic church at the top right. The church is now the home of the Lakeside Historical Society.

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