1961 was the year Ham the Chimp rocketed into space aboard the Mercury-Redstone 2. Down on the track at Western Speedway, Eldon Rasmussen blew past the competition at the Western Canada stock-car championship, cementing a trajectory that led him to the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame. The 4/10-mile oval has now seen more than a half-century of motorcars screech across its pavement, which currently hosts races for approximately 12 classes, including hornets, mini figure-eight tough trucks, stock cars, and rebellious shopping carts.
The eight-month season opens in April and hosts traditional races on Saturday nights that are occasionally bookended on Friday or Sunday by drag racing. Under an open sky filled with drivers ejected from their seats, up to 3,000 fans can watch themed races, demolition derbies, and other special events from the bleachers or head underneath for a slice of Ali Baba Pizza from the concessions counter.