Looking Back Over 70 years at Madison
1952- Johnson-Litch American Legion Post 334 of Oregon opened a new quarter mile dirt race track southeast of Oregon. It was originally known as Oregon Legion Speedway. For a time, the track was promoted by the Dairyland Racing Association.
1960- A go-kart track ran on Sunday afternoons and was known as Oregon Raceway.
1963- Legendary promoter Sam Bartus purchased the track and paved the quarter-mile with Modifieds and Sportsman heading the racing program. The track was known as Capital Speedway. The first race took place on June 21st with Eddie Hume and Denny Schweitzer picking up wins.
1965- “Semi” Late Models became the top division and continued through 1968 with Hobby Stocks added in 1966.
1969- Bartus constructed the current half-mile that we know and love as Wisconsin’s Fastest Half-Mile. Capital Super Speedway’s first heat winner on the big track was Jerry Eckhardt with Ramo Stott winning the first feature race. Jimmy Back was crowned track champion.
1970- Johnny Ziegler won the track championship.
1971-1972- Dick Trickle won back to back championships.
1973- Joe Shear won the first of his four track championships at Madison.
1975- Tom Reffner was the track champion.
1979- Racing was discontinued due to low car counts and dwindling attendance.
1980- Fred Nielsen purchased the track and hired the legendary John McKarns as promoter. ARTGO races became a weekly event at Madison with Shear winning the Madison championship in 1980.
1983- Bob and Tony Zidar purchased the track and built the current grandstand and installed the backstretch scoreboard.
1983-1984- Conrad Morgan won back to back championships.
1985-1986- Rich Bickle Jr. captured back to back championships.
1987- Craig Hemman purchased the track and renamed it IMPACT Speedway and covered it with dirt. Midgets, Late Models, Sprint Cars, Four Wheelers and more took to the track, but by 1989 racing discontinued and the future did not look good.
1989- The current track almost became Rutland Greyhound Park when pari-mutual racing was allowed in Wisconsin.
1992- Slinger Speedway owner Wayne Erickson purchased the track in 1992, repaved it, and renamed it Madison International Speedway. Erickson had raced at Madison back in the 1960’s. On May 18th a huge crowd welcomed racing back to the Madison area. Conrad Morgan won his third track championship that year. Other champions in 1992 were Dave Phillips (Sportsman), Bobby Wilberg (Modifieds), and Tom Waldman (Street Stocks).
1993- Robbie Reiser won the Super Late Model track title.
1994- Matt Kenseth won the track championship and quickly moved on to a very successful NASCAR career that included a Cup championship.
1996- Jerry, Donna, and Kevin Fillner purchased the track from Erickson and operate it until 2002. They added the very popular Midwest Truck Series to the weekly racing program.
2002- Terry and Mariann Kunes of Orland Park, Illinois, became the new owners. Dave Feiler and Bobby Wilberg tie for the Super Late Model track championship.
2003- Matt Kenseth returned to race before huge crowds.
2006- The current “Ring of Fire” was installed. That same year over 10,000 fans packed the stands for the All Star Challenge featuring Kenseth and Tony Stewart.
2008- Kyle Busch joined Kenseth and Stewart for the All Star Challenge with another tremendous crowd on hand.
2011- After a forty year absence, the ARCA Series returned to Madison.
2012- The Super Late Model Triple Crown Challenge made its debut.
2015- Gregg and Angie McKarns purchased the speedway. They make the track a NASCAR Home Track offering drivers the opportunity to compete for state, regional, and national championships.
2017- The Bandit Big Rigs made an appearance here with 15 semis taking on the half-mile.
2018- The USAC Silver Crown Series raced in the Bytec Inc. Dairyland 100. Bobby Wilberg won his thirteenth track championship at Madison.
2019- The MISfitz division began at Madison featuring a variety of car styles with one caveat: they can’t turn a lap less than twenty seconds.
2020- The pandemic basically wiped out the racing program with the exception of two events.
2021- Racing returned with a huge crowd on hand to see Rich Bickle Jr. win the Joe Shear Classic. Casey Johnson won the Howie Lettow Classic. Zack Riddle, Ray Hellenbrand, and Nick Schmidt won track championships. Long-time neighbor Evie Handeland was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
2022- Nick Schmidt became the first driver in Madison history to win four straight track championships all in the Bandits division. Ray and Mason Hellenbrand become the first father-son duo to win features in the same division on the same night. Casey Johnson swept the two ARCA Midwest Tour events at Madison. A new record was set when over 300 vehicles competed in the September street drags.