PROPOSED RIVERSIDE INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY MONUMENT INSCRIPTION:
International Raceway was conceived and developed by Rudy Cleye. With financial
impetus from manufacturing heir John C. Edgar, first steps toward construction
of a new racing facility in Southern California were taken in January 1957.
E. Peterson designed the original track and acted as general contractor. Architect
William L. Duquette drew the plan, Donald V. Kendall was structural engineer,
and Robert M. Erickson was landscape architect. The track opened in May and the
first sanctioned event, a local Cal-Club SCCA meet, took place in September
of that year.
Cleye was named director of racing, Elliott-Forbes Robinson
was general manager, and Steve Mason was director of publicity. They oversaw establishment
of RIR as a major racing facility, staging professional and amateur events that
attracted world-class racers and hordes of spectators.
In 1960 the track
changed hands and Dean Mears became general manager, with Roy G. Lewis, Donald
Ford, and Ernest Johnson as majority partners. The small oval was built that year,
and the Grand Prix of the United States Formula One World Championship race was
run on what was known as the "Grand Prix" circuit.
In 1961 the owners
sold their interest to Los Angeles real estate developer Edwin Pauley, who brought
in the man destined to be RIR's principal motive force for the next 22 years:
Les Richter. Lawrence LoPatin bought RIR in 1968 and returned control to Richter
in 1970. In 1983 Richter sold his interest to Fritz Duda. The last official event
was run in July, 1988.
For more than 30 years RIR hosted motor racing events
ranging from Sprint cars to Formula One, NASCAR to IMSA, Drag Racing to Motorcycles
to Off-road Racing. Truly, something for everyone could be found on the hallowed
ground at Riverside International Raceway. It was an important feature of Moreno
Valley region history, and lives on in the hearts and memories of the thousands
who competed, worked, and enjoyed the racing there. To them this monument is dedicated.
MEMORIAL SPECIAL COMMEMORATION:
Monument pays special tribute to those whose lives were lost at RIR, in the heat
of battle and for the love of their sport. They shall not be soon forgotten.
MEMORIAL VOLUNTEER COMMEMORATION:
Monument pays tribute to all volunteers and track workers who made the racing
possible, and who contributed so greatly to opportunities for racers and spectators
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