Scan: RIR logo jacket patch at 61x75 pixels - no link
Choose your favorite version of
Riverside International Raceway
Old  (you're already here)        |     New  (brace yourself)

To see photos of Old RIR action taken by my brother Don, click on this text

JPG:  Course diagaram, 60s configurationView of Flag station, Turn 7

You can see the north-ish end of what I think was a 3/8ths mile paved oval, represented here by the southernmost dotted link between front and back straights. I'm still not sure they actually built the second connector between Turn 1 and the back straight to form a 5/8ths or so oval (it was a mile), but I'm now convinced at least one oval was used for racing.

The dotted pavement link was still there at the end of the 80s, used as pregrid and amateur team setup when the pros used up the garages and paddock. If the longer oval existed, it was obliterated when the pits and paddock were moved to the east side of the start-finish straight.

See some pages from a Midgets on the Road Course program

To see the original of this diagram, borrowed from
North American Motorsports Pages, click this text.

A few months ago someone emailed me an image of a 1960s poster. He couldn't remember where he found it, and I seem to have lost it. The poster promised Championship Midget Auto Racing at "International Riverside Raceway," "HWY 395 & 60," every Saturday night, beginning with the Grand Opening on Sunday, May 7. 
Scan: RIR Midget races poster

Startling New Discovery!

Traces of two ovals seen on the site of mid-60s Riverside Raceway
Was there ever any doubt?
Rumors of reverse-direction racing persist

Doug Odom wrote to say:

"I raced stock cars at Riverside on the half mile oval in 1965 or 66. We ran on friday nights as I remember. There were no garages at that time. Turn 1 and 2 (turn 9 backwards) were kind of uphill. They had to put a pylon on the inside of the track so you could find where to turn down into turn 3. Lighting was poor and they used a generator. One night I'm going down the back straight and the lights go. The generator ran out of gas. Now it is very dark. Because I had raced sports cars (MGA [#39 on this Santa Barbara 1964 page]) there I knew how long the back straight was so i just kept going and slowing down. Went almost to the Champion bridge. Cut the engine and didn't hear anything coming so turned around and slowly went back. All the other cars had crashed into each other or run off into the dirt. My crew could not figure what had happened to me. I might have an old program around here somewhere. Anyway that was the only oval out there."

Photo: aerial view of Riverside Raceway in the mid-60s

This is my favorite picture so far: in its original size of 1800 X 2200 pixels, 11.5 MB, you can see the two flagmen standing at the edge of the track midway between the end of the Turn One fence and Turn Two. Quite a bit of detail, even though it was printed on porous paper. Just enough to see that the cars on the grid are sports racers, not the NASCAR stockers that are the subject of the remainder of the article in a book about great racing events. The "great event" at RIR was the first NASCAR race there.

I think the north ends of the two ovals are fairly obvious. I don't have a clear mental picture of a ground-level view of the larger one, but there it is in the photo, turning right just before beginning of the Armco™ at the tunnel.

Click this text or the picture to see a larger version.

Click this text to see a 244 K version with more detail available. You can see the celebrity or driver-in-a-convertible tour proceeding toward Turn Eight.

Thumbnail: cover of Cal Club magazine of October, 1963, showing an oblique aerial view looking north from Turn Nine.

October 1963 issue, Cal Club Region SCCA monthly SPEED & SPORT, shows some nice detail, including unusual views of Turns Six, Seven, and Eight. There are four large versions available, all BIG files:

Whole coveror click the green rectangle (134K)
Photo onlyor click inside the oval (162K)
North endor click near the top edge (197K)
South endor click in the dark lower left corner (179K)

To see frames from a New-RIR lap recorded on 8mm film, click HERE

Click here to see frames from a marvelous 50s and 60s
Southern California sports car road racing film.

RIR Pictures Pages

New  (70s up) RIR Page

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