Paducah International Raceway, PIR as it has been called for years, was built in 1972 and was operated by different business partners until 1975. Charles Harrison purchased the track in 1975. Charlie had been involved with the Reidland Speedway for eight years prior to purchasing PIR.
In 1978 a new concrete retaining wall was built at the facility. New concrete bleachers were added in 1979 that increased seating to approximately 5000. In 1980 the original concessions stand and judges tower were destroyed by fire. A new, modern scoring tower and concessions stand were completed in 1981.
A Spring flood in April 1983 closed the facility. Extensive repairs were needed to reopen. Flooding in May of 1984 caused a 3 week delay to the season as once again the water filled the track.
Ron Fisher purchased the track from the Harrison’s. He ran the track for several years before the Tindal family purchased the track in 2001.
Paducah International Raceway is the home of the USA World 50. The USA World 50 was known as the world’s richest 50-lap race. Jerry Inman won the inaugural USA World 50 in 1978. He followed it up with another win in 1979. Tom Helfrich went to victory lane in 1980. 1981 saw Larry Moore take the win. 1982’s winner was Russ Petro. In 1983, Russellville, KY Phil Gregory took the checkers. Other winners through the years include (NASCAR Busch veteran) Jeff Purvis and (UMP Super Late Model National Champion) Terry English.
In November of 2005, NASCAR Stars Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kenny Schrader along with Midwest Promoter Bob Sargent purchased PIR. This is Dale Jr.’s first venture in owning a racetrack. Ken Schrader also owns I-55 Raceway in Peavely, MO with Ray Marler. Bob Sargent has been involved in promoting both state fair races in Illinois. He has worked with NASCAR, ARCA RE/MAX, World of Outlaws, and was co-owner of UMP with Ken Schrader. Three-time NASCAR Champion Tony Stewart joined the trio of Co-Owners as a partner in September of 2006. This is not Stewart’s first venture into track ownership, he also owns Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH. and is part owner in Macon Speedway, Macon IL