History of Madison International Speedway

What started out as a ¼ mile dirt track in 1952 that was run by the local American Legion has had quite the storied history.

In 1963 legendary promoter Sam Bartus purchased the track and paved it keeping it at a ¼ mile. 1969 was the year that Bartus constructed the current half mile that we all know today as ‘Wisconsin’s Fastest Half Mile’.

The 1970’s would see legendary short track stars like Dick Trickle, Tom Reffner and Joe Shear all win track championships. However in 1979 racing was discontinued due to low car count and dwindling crowds.

1980 would see Fred Nielson buy the track and hire the legendary John McKarns to run the track. 1983 would see Bob and Tony Zidar buy the track and build the grandstands that are still there today. 1987 Craig Hemmen would purchase the track and put dirt on it and rename it Impact Speedway. That was short-lived as the track closed down by 1989.

The track would sit dormant for three years until Wayne Erickson purchased the track in 1992 and repaved it. Matt Kenseth would win the Late Model Championship in 1994 before he moved on to his successful NASCAR career. In 1996 the Fillner family would purchase the track and run it until 2002.

2002 would see Terry Kunes purchase the track. The 2000’s would see Kenseth come back and race in front of huge crowds while Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart also made guest appearances.

In 2015 Gregg and Angie McKarns purchased the Madison International Speedway and saved it from potentially going away. The Joe Shear Classic continues to grow and has become one of the Crown Jewel pavement Super Late Model events in the Midwest.

The ASA STARS National Tour returns to MIS on Friday June 14th for the Capital 200. See the nation’s best Super Late Model driver battling it out for 200 laps!

Advance sale discount tickets for the Capital 200 at Madison International Speedway are available via the Ticket Hoss app, while Father’s Day 100 tickets for the Milwaukee Mile can be found at bit.ly/FathersDay100Tix. Advance sale pit passes are available online via the Pit Pay app. Tickets and pit passes will also be available at the tracks on race day.