Sunday 18th October 1931
The first automobile race was held at the Oakland Speedway, California, US. It was a one-mile, banked dirt oval track built, which operated throughout the Great Depression and the postwar years. The track featured AAA-sanctioned National Championship races with Indy cars and drivers from 1931 until 1936. When the AAA pulled out of the West Coast the track featured racing by members of the Bay Cities Racing Association running roadsters and motorcycles, as well as Big Cars, stock cars, and midgets. It was known as the “fastest dirt track in the Nation”. After the grandstands burned down in 1942, the track had been abandoned, but after World War II, new stands were built and the track reopened as Oakland Stadium, until it closed in 1955 to make way for the Bay Fair Shopping Center, a $25 million development. Among legendary top race drivers who got their start at the Oakland Speedway was Bob Sweikert, the 1955 Indy 500 winner.