Hales Corners Speedway to close at the end of 2003


Staff member
By Bryan Gapinski: Franklin, Wis, August 18---The Hales Corners Speedway, Milwaukee area's only dirt race track will close after a storied 55 years of racing, on September 1, with the annual Labor Day Demo Derby. Regular Saturday Night racing will take place on August 23, and August 30. The AMA Motorcycles will run an event on Friday August 29.

Rumored to be closing for the last ten years, the facilities owner John Kaishian has sold the parcel of land to Menard Inc, a home improvement store chain. The negoiations between the two have been ongoing for over a year. Last week the pair along with the City of Franklin finalized all the plans, and the signing of the contract will be made after the September 1 event. The property is located at 6531 South 108th Street(Hwy100) in Franklin. The track's conditions along with increased retail business's, and new housing in the area, made the land too valable not to offer for sale.

" The end was coming, however the developments came together so quickly we were forced to forgo the Farewell Tour for the track we had hoped for" commented Jim Wehner, the track's general manager. Wehner's office has been over loaded with phone calls regarding the announcement. "It's been here for so long so many people are finding it hard to believe the end has finally come" stated Wehner.

Kaishian has mentioned in the past about possibily building a new facility south of the present track.

Modified and sportsmen type cars ran at the track on Saturday Nights until 1972, when the Modifieds were replaced with Late Model Stock Cars. In recent years other classes such as IMCA style Modifieds, Hales Whales, and a four cylinder class have been added. The track also hosted Thursday Night racing for many years in the 60's, and early 70's.

The was also the site for countless Badger Midget Series, and IRA Sprint Car Series events. The USAC National Midget Series sanctioned 36 events, and one USAC National Sprint Car Series event at the track.. The track also hosted the World of Outlaws, CRA, All Stars, and MSA Sprint Car Series. A weekly midget racing was held in the early years, and during the 1967-68 seasons. The track was also the site of flea markets, concerts, thrill shows, and tractor pulls over the years.
That's a shame that big business drives a dirt track out. Be it locally or in another state, it still ****s. :(
I don't think big business DROVE it out. I think the owner realized how much money he could get for it and couldn't resist.
it really blows that a big company that supports racing would shut a track down yeahthe money and all but there was away to work things out and of course tonight i'm heading to home depot
I was up there last summer picking up cars. The owners had leased part of the parking lot to the Chevy store in Franklin for storage. So we got to get into the track to check it out.

We met one of the two brothers who ran the place, a real nice guy and an old time promoter. We spent a little over an hour talking and hearing stories about the place. They have run the track for nearly the 50 some years the track was there.

The location of the track reminded me of the situation that happened at St.Charles. The City just grew up around it.

The track looked like it hadn’t had improvements done on it in years and definitely needed some fine-tuning, that plus the age of the two Brothers, and one would have to figure it was a “take the money and run” situation.

Sorry to see a part of Milwaukee racing history go, I'm sure the racers and fans of the "Charlie Bowl" know how they feel in Milwaukee.