Story credit to Skyline Speedway Facebook page
STEWART, OHIO- (Scott Wolfe)
An exciting future lies ahead for Skyline Speedway—a racing revival of sorts. Atomic Speedway co-owner Brad McCown has made a deal to purchase the fabled Skyline Speedway from Jason Brookover, who had started a renovation project on the speedway grounds in late summer. Skyline Speedway has seen some of the greatest names in racing pass through its gates which first opened in 1965 with Sam Erwin of Portsmouth, Ohio taking the Supermodified/Sprint feature win. Many top names in both stock car and open wheel racing have raced on the 3/8 mile red clay oval.
Although the deal was just agreed upon last week, McCown is ready to get started on completing renovations, securing sponsorships, and returning Skyline to its glory days. McCown can be reached at 740-703-9749.
McCown is no stranger to reviving race tracks. He brought Jackson County Speedway back to life after a long closure, then in 2013 re-opened the gates of Atomic Speedway after it sat idle in 2012. At Atomic, he brought that venue back to one of the top weekly operations in the country, while updating facilities to 2020 standards. McCown hopes to do the same at Skyline.
Plans call for 12-15 races on Saturday nights when Atomic Speedway is not running. Possibly, a dual point fund will be run between the two tracks. A schedule will be put out soon, but McCown assures race fans that they won’t be disappointed. Scott Wolfe will join the team as the voice of Skyline Speedway, a position he held for several years. Along with Dan and Charlotte Hansen, and many other very experienced staff members we promise this will be a great place for years to come.
Much like at Atomic, pit spots will be sold to race teams on an annual basis, reserved seating on the top rows will be sold, along with front row seating for lawn chairs directly in the front of the new bleachers. Plans for VIP booths being constructed in turns one and two are in the works as part of the facility upgrade.
Sponsors are being sought for billboard and infield signage, while title sponsors are needed for each participating racing class. Late Models, Modifieds, Sport Mods, SCDRA Compacts and possibly a few 410 Sprint specials will make up the racing card. Anyone wishing to sponsor the track can call McCown at 740-703-9749.
Among the races that will anchor the 2021 schedule are the Harvest 50 on September 24 and 25th, the Heritage Classic, and the Suicide Awareness special also slated for September . Other special events are in the planning stages.
Completed in 1965, Skyline Speedway quickly became the place to race with its winning prize of $500, a pay-off double of what most tracks were paying. Cars from Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and cars from the deep south, namely the state of Georgia joined drivers from the Midwest trying to unseat regular stars Mack Clingan, J.D. Leas, Wayne McGuire, Bobby Morgan, and Jim Fizer. As Late Models became more popular the hey day of the sprints faded, except for a short stint in 1974-75 when a group of 20 drivers and car owners ran sprints under the Southeast Ohio Super Sprint banner—or SOSS.
Darrell Willie brought the track to national prominence with the Late Models, running several STARS sanctioned events and establishing the Harvest 50 as one of the big-name races in late model racing. Willie ran the track successfully from 1980 to 1996 when Lou Hubbard bought the track. Several other owners operated the track with much success in the early 2000’s, but for the past few years the speedway ran only abbreviated schedules, yet keeping the Harvest 50 name alive.
McCown is anxious to get started, and if hard work is a measure of success, Skyline Speedway will again be very successful. No one outworks Brad McCown. Brad’s experience with Atomic Speedway can only bring great things to Athens County in the future. For McCown, the future is now. The green flag is about to wave for a jump start to the 2021 racing season.
Skyline Speedway is located half way between Athens, Ohio and Coolville just off US 50 on County Road 53 at Stewart. More information will be released as plans begin to unfold for the 2021 season.