The Des Moines Auto Racing Association was formed by fans, drivers, car owners, pit crews, and business people that love the sport of auto racing. In 1993, the Iowa State Fair board contemplated turning the historical Iowa State Fair Speedway into additional parking for the Iowa State Fair. The result would have been the END of auto racing at this historical race track, founded sometime in the early 1900’s. The Iowa State Fair Speedway was the beginning of auto racing in the state of Iowa.
Competitive dirt track racing began in August 1907, when Barney Oldfield fired up his Blitzen Benz.Introducing the sport of auto racing to the state of Iowa. A few years later Ray Harroun followed his victory in the first Indy 500, by bringing his Marmon Wasp to the fairgrounds in September of the same year. Many legendary names have raced this 1/2 mile dirt oval track: Doug Wolfgang, Ramo Stott, Ernie Derr, Verlin Eaker, Don White, Emory Collins, Bobby Grim, and Injun Joe Merryfield, just mentioning a few.
We, the fans and drivers organized a collected over 14,000 signed petitions to present the Iowa State Fair Board. This voiced the community’s outrage and desire to keep the track open. The Fair Board rescinded their decision, and dirt track racing continued at the Iowa State Fair Speedway. The Board of Directors, of the Des Moines Auto Racing Association, continued to address issues for the racing community, and the Fair Board. We enlisted local contractors to donate machinery to turn the surface of the race track, first time in it’s history it had been done.
McAninch Corporation donated machinery, they donated the labor to run the machinery Hallett Materials donated machinery, and dirt for the track. Larry Fleck & Son Trucking, donated countless hours of labor, dump trucks, and knowledge. To this day, all of the above have donated their time, labor, and willingness to help in any way they can.
The Des Moines Auto Racing Association has undertaken many tasks at the race track to assist the Fair Board, and the drivers & families to make our facility at the Iowa State Fair Speedway the best in the state of Iowa. Working together, with state & local officials, we have come a long way since 1993, to bring F-A-M-I-L-Y back into the sport of auto racing. The Des Moines Auto Racing Association has worked hard to represent the needs of our drivers, and their families. May 1, 1995, we received our certificate of Non-Profit Incorporation from the Secretary of the state of Iowa, and in may of 1996, we received Tax Exempt stasis from the Internal Revenue Service. We continue to work for our racing family, and invite you to join with us, to support and strengthen the sport of auto racing.