BIR Racing Season Opens

BIR Racing Season Opens

Race fans at BIR (click for larger version)

Behind the Milwaukee Mile, Birmingham International Raceway (BIR) located at the Alabama State Fairgrounds, is the second oldest active automobile racing facility in America. Originally built as a horse-racing track in the late 19th century, BIR began hosting car races in 1914. But it wasn’t until the Chevrolet brothers introduced their new “Frontenac,” a car designed to race on short dirt tracks, at the 1925 state fair that racing fever truly caught on in Birmingham. By the 1950s, Indianapolis-style open-wheel racing began making regular stops at BIR, featuring stars such as Tony Bettenhausen and A. J. Foyt. Fireball Roberts won the first NASCAR event at BIR in 1958. The track was paved in 1962 and eventually became the official home of NASCAR’s legendary Alabama Gang: Red Farmer, Neil Bonnett, and Bobby, Donnie, and Davey Allison. Perhaps the track’s greatest moment was the evening that racer Nero Steptoe won a 25-lap race after losing a wheel on the third lap. BIR begins its racing season April 2. For more information, call 781-2471 or visit for details. &

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