(This project seems to have gone stagnant;
if anyone near the Riverside area is interested
its revival could be a benefit to many ... )

An image showing the approved configuration for a monument
to be created and installed at Towngate II Community Center,
Moreno Valley, California, former site of historic
Riverside International Raceway:

Thumnail: Proposed RIR Monument

The colors may change in keeping with the Community Center's theme.

Artist's view of the Monument in its setting:

  Thumnail: Proposed RIR Monument in its setting  1  

Thumnail: Proposed RIR Monument in its setting  2    Thumnail: Proposed RIR Monument in its setting  3  

Click a thumbnail to see a 760x565 version

For further information about the RIR Monument Project
and to contribute your ideas, register and follow
The Nostalgia Forum “Riverside Today” thread at  

Monument Page


Riverside 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.

James 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.


This 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.


This 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 alike.

Please forward your opinions and suggestions to the Nostalgia Forum message thread Riverside Today.

Monument Page