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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."


Entries in Hanford Motor Speedway (12)


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?


Video of 1968 Champ Car race at Hanford

A 10-minute "Car and Track" video of the Fall 1968 Champ Car race at Hanford has surfaced, and it provides some nice insight in to the track. 

I've been on the lookout for the long-rumored video of Champ Cars at Hanford, so it was thrilling for me to stumble across this footage on YouTube

Click to read more ...


Fresh updates to Marchbanks Speedway/Hanford Motor Speedway history

I just finished making a bunch of updates to a variety of stories in my Marchbanks Speedway section, including lots of fixes and additions to the main track history

Some of the more noticeable changes include:

  • Interviews with Champ Car drivers Mario Andretti, Bobby Unser, Mel Kenyon and George Benson.
  • Wonderful photos and memories from motorsports journalist Ken Durham, who shot photos of the Champ Car races as a teen-ager. 
  • Other reader stories.
  • A 1951 ad and article clipping for the NASCAR Grand National race.
  • An update to the Ernie Cornelson obituary.
  • Specifics on when the track changed names.
  • Specifics on management and leasing deals from 1958-70.
  • More 1953 photos from the Tommy Trader collection.
  • A breakdown of 1969 Champ Car race revenue.
  • A photo of Joe Leonard driving Parnelli Jones' Lotus-Pratt & Whitney during the Fall 1968 Champ Car race.
  • Tidbits about the King School house being moved to Marchbanks, drag racing and boxing matches.

Please continue to share your ideas, stories and feedback. I've gotten great reaction and help from people around the world, and I'd love for that to continue. You're invaluable in helping me fill holes, correct mistakes and find new sources. 

You can add your comments to the main history or email me directly.