Sunday, August 16, 2009
Playland Park Raceway
(UPDATE) I got a note recently from Jon Pitts (DHS '61) who is a racing fan and saw many races at Playland Park and Arrowhead Speedway. Here's what he said, "As one who attended races at Playland Park and Arrowhead Speedway before that, the two men standing by their cars I think are the Tallata brothers. In the last picture, the sheet metal fence in the background is the reason the track was closed. On the other side of the fence is the entrance to the track, a car left the track, went thru that fence and landed on top of the track owner, his wife and their daughter, who had just come thru the entrance. They were all killed, the track closed and Meyer Speedway was built a few years later. I remember AJ Foyt racing at Playland, he was a very dirty driver and the biggest cheat at the track. There were several better drivers than he, but none with better connections than AJ's dad, who just happened to be the Pit Stewart for the track. AJ's dad did not mind using his position to aid his son's career."
I have found some information on the wreck/accident Jon has mentioned. I'll post it in the future. (The Houston Chronicle covered the story and has their articles available in their archives.) I've also found video of races at Playland Park and Meyer Speedway. Pretty good stuff.
I never made it to Playland Park, much less saw any races there. I can't recall where these pictures came from, but they show several things. The first one shows some midget race cars at the starting line before a race. A. J. Foyt began as a midget race car driver out at Playland. The next photo shows stock car racers with their cars. The last three photos show some fender benders. You'll notice in the 4th picture that a car jumped the fence.