Southsider Voice correspondent
Former Indianapolis Speedrome owner John Stiles is taking steps so that publications and selected track memorabilia from the track can be preserved for the ages.
Stiles owned the famed short track at Brookville Road and Kitley Avenue from 1977-97, after buying it from former national midget car champion Leroy Warriner. Stiles, a Greenwood electronics company owner, instituted many innovations to short-track racing that earned him plaudits from track owners and promoters throughout the United States.
Stiles launched the track’s signature event, the World Championship Three-Hour Endurance Race, a national touring figure-8 championship series, a one-hour figure-8 to decide the annual track championship for late models, USAC regional midget series and a national championship 500-lap midget car race on the one-fifth mile paved oval.
He also eliminated qualifications for regular races and developed a system that guaranteed more action by lining up the best drivers at the rear of the lineup to assure passing.
Stiles is turning over a copy of each weekly track publications, special season-ending publications and other artifacts to the Indiana Historical Society.
Former participants, track officials and spectators also have the opportunity to go through and select from extra copies of weekly track and annual publications, a massive array of photos and other memorabilia.
More than 60,000 pieces of Speedrome history will be available for free from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday at Jonathan Byrd’s Banquet Center, I-65 and Main Street in Greenwood.
The three-hour event is called the Indianapolis Speedrome Free for All.
The Speedrome continues to operate with a variety of events, including the unique and high-horsepower figure-8.
Editor’s note: Stilley is news director emeritus of the Speedrome and a 2001 inductee into the track’s Hall of Fame.