Tri-City Speedway Sold; New Owner Looking to Bring Weekly Racing Back in 2020

MERCER, Pa. (EYT) – After sitting idle this past season, there is finally some good news from one of Western Pennsylvania’s most popular race tracks. Merle Black of Mercer has purchased Tri-City Speedway, also known as Tri-City Raceway Park and has plans to bring weekly racing back to the famed dirt oval for the 2020 season.

(Photo: A standing-room-only crowd takes in the World of Outlaws at Tri-CIty Speedway. Photo by Rick Rarer)

Despite running special shows during past seasons, the track has not operated on a weekly basis for a full season since 2010.

Black indicated his tentative plans are to bring back the popular 410 sprint cars on Sunday nights to compete for a competitive purse. They will be joined by the 358 modifieds and another rotating division. He would like to start at 6:00 p.m. so fans and racers can be on the road and home in a timely manner. This was the blueprint that worked so well for former owners Roger Crick and Mike Graham during their successful run as owners from 1996 through the 2000s.

Originally opened in 1954 as a quarter-mile dirt oval, the track operated in this configuration until 1968.

In 1969, the track reopened as a half-mile oval where it held races until closing in 1981 after a fire destroyed the main concession stand and most of the bleachers.

The newly renovated track reopened in 1985 under the ownership of Bob Mauersberg and family but shut down after the 1987 season due to local amusement taxes.

The track sat idle once again until 1996 under the ownership of Crick and Graham who again made many improvements to the track and brought it to its current configuration. Since then the track has experienced varying levels of success with special only schedules under several different owners. This also included weekly Friday racing featuring late models which lasted less than a few months.

Over the years the track has seen some of the biggest names and sanctioning bodies in the country compete. Names like Jeff Gordon, Kenny Wallace, Steve Kinser, Ken Schrader, and Dave Blaney are just a few of the stars that have graced the clay at the Venango county oval. The World of Outlaws late models and sprint car series have both made visits to the track along with the All-Star Circuit of Champions where the sprint cars always bring a big crowd.

Everyone is hoping Merle Black can bring life back to Tri-City Speedway and will be able to make weekly racing thrive at the track once again. A track rich in racing history is ready to bring local racing back to loyal fans of the area and a new generation of fans.

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About Rick

Rick Rarer, a Franklin resident, is the owner of and He has been covering racing for 19 years, taking racing photos for 14 years, and has covered races at over 100 tracks in 15 states. Most recently, Rick won the Bill Steinbach Media Award at the Lernerville Speedway Annual Awards Banquet

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