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History of Marchbanks Speedway/Hanford Motor Speedway

RELATED STORIES: Read more about Marchbanks Speedway and Hanford Motor Speedway in my Marchbanks section, including the regularly updated "History of Marchbanks Speedway, aka Hanford Motor Speedway."



Interviewed by "Valley Edition"

"Valley Edition" on KVPR/Valley Public Radio interviewed me about the Marchbanks history for a show broadcast this week. 

You can listen to the show here; my segment starts at 42:30. 

One correction to something I said on the show: The track location was southwest of Hanford and Highway 43; not sure why I said southeast, given all the poring of maps I did early on in my research.

Thanks to host Joe Moore for showing interest in the track and for helping further our cause to make this history bigger and better. 

As always, feel free to email me or comment on the main history story to share your own stories or information. 


Table of contents 

I've posted several dozen different "chapters" on the history of Marchbanks Speedway, aka Marchbanks Stadium and Hanford Motor Speedway, so have decided to put together a Table of Contents to help readers find topics of interest, particularly the interviews with racers who knew the track first-hand, including legends like Andretti, Unser and Kenyon.

These are listed in the order I originally posted them (some, particularly the main history, have been updated multiple times). 

  1. History of Marchbanks Speedway, aka Hanford Motor Speedway
  2. 1967 Champ Car race program
  3. More photos from the 1967 Champ Car race
  4. 1970 stock plan tried to keep Hanford Motor Speedway alive
  5. March 1968 Champ Car race program
  6. Second death at Marchbanks/Hanford speedway
  7. November 1968 Champ Car race program
  8. April 1969 Champ Car race program
  9. Additions to Marchbanks Speedway history
  10. "The Fabulous Mr. Marchbanks"
  11. Cool photos of the Marchbanks road course
  12. Reader: Hanford 250 "the best auto race I have ever seen"
  13. My interview with Gary Marchbanks
  14. My interview with Tommy Trader
  15. Details of 1957 death at Marchbanks
  16. Updates to Marchbanks history
  17. Readers share recollections of racing at Marchbanks, Hanford
  18. My chat with racing legend Mel Kenyon
  19. My chat with Bobby Unser
  20. My interview with George Benson
  21. My interview with Mario Andretti
  22. Hanford through the lens of a teenager
  23. More great photos from 1968-69 Champ Car races
  24. Fresh updates to Marchbanks Speedway/Hanford Motor Speedway history 
  25. 1967 George Snider feature story
  26. Marchbanks inducted into West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame
  27. Video of 1968 Champ Car race at Hanford
  28. Map of Marchbanks road course, circa 1960
  29. Sept. 1960 Road Race Program

It would have been nice to get some credit ... 

Hanford Sentinel "Hanford History" article posted Dec. 14, 2013... for this short Hanford Sentinel story on the Marchbanks track posted Dec. 14. 

Two things bother me about this piece: 1)They cut and pasted my work without appropriate credit and 2) The Sentinel has all but ignored the track's history over the last few decades. 

Equally annoying is that even though there's only slight rewriting of my original work, they've slapped their own copyright notice on the story and are offering the Indycar photo reprint for sale. All of my work is published under a Creative Commons license that allows others to "copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format for any purpose, even commercially" as long as the work is attributed" ... "You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. ..."

This photo The Sentinel posted with the article is apparently of Darlington Raceway, reader Jim Thurman noted in the comments of this post.I published my stories under Creative Commons rather than traditional copyright because I pursued this as a collaborative endeavor and included a lot of other sources, particularly quotes from fan forums. That's why I have so many links to third-party sites to give credit where credit is due.

My frustration is magnified because at the beginning of this Marchbanks project I tried several times to talk to editors at The Sentinel, with no response. My original idea was to pitch a history project for them to pursue and publish, and offer my help if they wanted/needed it. Not that I'm anything special, but it'd be nice if the hometown paper were to invest a little bit in telling the story of this memorable track. The Marchbanks history retains high interest among many people -- I  know because I continue to get lots of traffic to my stories, years after they were first published. This isn't the first time my Marchbanks stuff has been republished verbatim elsewhere. But it's the first time an entity that should know better isn't following pretty basic rules for crediting creative work. 

OK, on the plus side, the Sentinel piece included a photo I have never seen that shows the track from the entry into Turn 1. The caption doesn't provide details, so I'll try to dig deeper. But the presence of what appears to be infield seating would indicate it likely was one of the NASCAR Grand National races. Any of my readers have any idea when this photo was taken?


Updates to Marchbanks section

It's been awhile since I've added anything to the Marchbanks section but I did update a few chapters today. 

I updated and tweaked a few sections within the main history, including adding an interesting track diagram and a photo. I also learned the YouTube video of the 1968 Champ Car race has since been taken offline, so I updated that chapter as well as the main history to reflect that. Bummer. 

Let me know if there's other stuff I need to address.