Pontiac Speedway (M-59 Speedway) - White Lake Township MI

Address: 9620 Highland Rd
City: White Lake Township
State: MI
Zip: 48386
County: Oakland
Number of visits to this page: 27146

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General Information:

Update 2/26/2024: Don Pike was once a promoter here so this may be why we have a "Don Pike Speedway" listed on this site.

I am using the address for the office of the modular home complex where the old track was. The track would have been slightly north of the office.

Dirt/Paved Ovals - Operating Dates: 1950-1956

Summary of Oakland County Speedways from the Webmaster:

There has been some confusion on my part regarding the motor speedways in Oakland County, and Pontiac in particular. I believe I have figured out which speedway was where and what names they operated under.

First off, I had listed “Lake Angelus Speedway” and “Chief Pontiac Speedway” as 2 different places. Based on the old newspaper ads, they were one in the same. The speedway sat on a lot just South of where Great Lakes Crossing sits today. Both are described as being on Lake Angelus Rd and Baldwin Rd.

Secondly, I had “Pontiac Speedway” and “M-59 Speedway” as 2 different places. They were also one in the same although oddly described slightly differently during the same time period in different newspapers. The locations were given as “8 miles west of Telegraph on Highland Rd” and “13 miles East of US-23 on M-59”, or "3 miles West of the airport". Those all take you to the same place.

Dave Lyall mentioned there was a speedway at M-59 and Elizabeth Lake Rd. Technically, those 2 roads cross twice. The crossing to the West fits his description better and again that lines up with Pontiac/M-59 Speedway or very close right up the street.

Then we have the oddball entries like “New Pontiac Speedway” and simply “Pontiac”. Re-reading the one and only article on “New Pontiac Speedway” it is described as being 4 miles North of Pontiac which coincidentally is where Chief Pontiac Speedway sits. The article indicated it would be known as the “Gay Day”. Yes, you read that right.

The odd part is the date on that article is 1955 but Chief Pontiac/Lake Angelus was already operating. I see no other references to “Gay Day Speedway” beyond that so I will assume the idea never came to fruition or the article was referring to Chief Pontiac Speedway.

The “Pontiac” entry referred to a one-off race on the streets of Pontiac itself. I don’t consider that an official Speedway, so I deleted that entry completely. It was more like a special event.

A submitter named Gary Norman indicated there was a short-lived dirt track near Collier Rd in Pontiac. Sure enough, the historical aerial from 1973 shows it. It was next to what was then an old auto salvage yard. So, that will be a new entry which I will probably call Collier Road Speedway even though that probably wasn’t the name. If I get the official name, I will update the entry.

As an aside, Joy Fair won tons of races at these Pontiac race tracks as he was a great driver and came out of Pontiac originally.

I have decided to place this information on all 3 entries for these Speedways so anyone unsure of what they were searching for will see the same information with the complete story. All 3 are backed up with historical aerial photography so I feel pretty good about the accuracy here.

Lastly, while searching for info on these I came across an article indicating a planned additional drag strip for Oakland County in White Lake Township was prevented by the Michigan Supreme Court. The owners of Pontiac Speedway were evidently involved in the effort. A shame. It would have been cool to have a drag strip in White Lake.

Info Updates:
6/1/2019 - Randall H Field
I recall watching racing on M-59 Speedway in the early '50s while living in Drayton Plains as a young kid. I believe it was on Channel 7. In those days, we only received channels 2, 4, 7, and sometimes 9 (Windsor). I also recall Fred Wolf doing commentary for the races. In the late '50s, we had moved to Rochester (actually Avon Twp), and my grandparents had moved from Pontiac to Highland off Milford Rd. We would take M-59 through Pontiac to visit them which took us past what had been M-59 Speedway. Through the years (I'm not sure of exact dates), the wooden walls that enclosed the track and signs gradually deteriorated until it was replaced by development. Even now, when I travel along M-59 in that area, I look over to the north side of the road and picture the old speedway. That was a long time ago.
1/7/2017 - Ron Korte
I grew up on Cranberry Lake, across from Leo's Club 59, Bob's Picnic Park and the M-59 Speedway. I went to the races one night in the early / mid 50's. My Dad and I rowed across the lake, stopped at the outside service window at Leos Bar and went to the Race Track. I was only 4 - 5 years old. I still have rolls of tickets to the Speedway and some copper mugs, personalized with customer names and numbered for drinking at the bar.
12/7/2015 - Ken Dixon
WoW This really brings back the memories. I lived in the mobile home park, about12 homes on Cranberry lake. I would go to the races all the time. When they wernt racing I would play at the track. One day me & a friend found the concession stand was broken into we ate as much candy as poss. I worked at the concession window at the bar that was part of bobs park. In the eve I would charge people to watch there parked car. I remember the dance pavilion, juke box & dancing. I would always have a load of pop&beer bottles to cash in. The race track Bobs park& cranberry lake was a fun experience for a young boy.
12/30/2013 - Elvin Howland
To All: My dad Ephraim Howland was the original owner of the picnic park, band stand and beer garden on Mead Lake. He sold the land to the promoter who built M-59 speedway. My cousin Elmer Howland was a regular race car driver at the track. Since we sold the land for the track, our family had a life time pass to the races! When the promoter tried to build a drag strip next to the track, the neighbors squashed it. Because the promoter had spent so much money on the drag strip with no profit, he was bankrupted, which led to the demise of M-59 Speedway. Yours, Elvin Howland.
7/25/2009 - June
does anyone know the location of Bob Baily 's Family who ran the consession stand at the m-59 speedway it was called Bob Baily's picnic Park , him & his wife ran it .
It is now the 55 & over community mobile home Park ,where I live and we still have some residents living here , that attended the races
any info . you could send me would be greatly appreciated
Thank you
June G
7/25/2009 - June
the m-59 speedway is now a 55 & over mobil home park , it is located on M-59 & village drive , on the North side of the road, across from Dave & Amy's Restaurant just west of Fisk Farm , hope this Helps
June G.
2/17/2009 - Donna Swan Rundell
Just a little reminder-M-59 used to go all the way out what is now Highland Rd. to M-23. That's why I had so much trouble locating it.
2/17/2009 - Donna Swan Rundell
I noticed one of the Posters for the Speedway says it was located "three miles west of the airport". That's a great clue! Thanks.
2/17/2009 - Donna Swan Rundell
I have an advertisement of my dad's band playing at "Bob Bailey's Picnic Park" at the M-59 Speedway. The ad is from about 1955 when the newspaper was The Pontiac Press. My brother and I were only nine years ole then. I remember the picnics out there and the races but I have wondered for years where the old speedway was.
3/29/2008 - Shar
This is the speedway where the trailer park/Home Depot is now. There was never a speedway at the corner of Elizabeth Lake Road and M-59, neither intersections in Waterford or White Lake Townships.

This was called Bob's Picnic Park at Cranberry Lake before is became M-59 Speedway. My Dad, Bob Arnold and George Chapel owned car '76 for many years and their main driver was Doc Dewey and sometimes George Moore. The Richmond Brothers (Carlton and Don) also raced and did own a garage at Elizabeth Lake Road and Union Lake Road, which is now vacant. Sad that this track is gone.
2/13/2008 - Gary Lindahl
just a quick note for anyone interested, this years racers reunion at the Toledo Speedway bar&grill is set for saturday, march 15th from noon til 6pm. all are welcome for a day of bench racing and looking at old pics, programs dvd's etc. this is for all speedways . if you have old photo albums bring them. all you have to do is ask Tim Kelley what a great happening this is. It led to his dad Rusty's being inducted into the hall of fame. thanks to you Tim and your family for allowing me to be a part of your special day. See Ya!
1/27/2008 - Tim Kelley
For Roger Haworth:

I have photos of Rusty in several versions of the 010, and one of them uses a paint scheme with stitches. I even have one in color, courtesy of Brian Norton. I wasn't aware that he ran the 010 at M-59, thought it was only at Toledo. Thanks for the info.

Tim Kelley
1/27/2008 - Roger Haworth
For Tim Kelly, Did you dad also race with the number -010- ? I thought I remembered as a kid that number on his car. I do remember seeing your dads car one time when he came out with a fresh paint job and it was painted to make it look the the doors were stiched shut. I was only 7or8 then but I do remember that. When M-59 went to drag racing and changed the track, that was their down fall. I remember going to the "super Chief" at Dixixe and Telegraph for hotdogs and fries and then onto the track that night to watch the race.

Its too bad that we can't make video or pictures of the images we have in our minds. By the way the "super Chief" is up and running in Pontiac at Walton and Telegraph. Still Make the best Foot Long and Tandems there are around. My Son and I were just there last summer.
6/10/2007 - Chuck Dewey
Boy, trying to get the ol brain kick started hasn't been easy. My uncle Dick drove for the Richmond Bros. not Richardson. They had a station near the corner of Elizabeth Lk. and Union Lk. Rds. Sorry for the confusion.
6/9/2007 - Chuck Dewey
Forgive the oversite, but I think they used to call this Bob's Picnic Park ? ?
6/9/2007 - Chuck Dewey
Just found this site. Lived so close to the speedway as kids we could sit in the back yard and listen to them race. My uncle raced there for I believe the Richardson brothers - Dick (not Doc) Dewey. I ended up working for Joy Fair right out of high school. Sorry - don't have any pics, but sure have a lot of good memories.
1/30/2007 - Gary Lindahl
9/7/2005 - Tim Kelley
My Father, Rusty Kelley raced there in the late 50s, trading paint with drivers like Joy Fair, Mickey Catlin, Johnny Wallace, and Chuck Partello, driving a fuel injected Buick built by my Grandfather, Ben Rohrer.
8/29/2005 - John Keyes
My grandfather raced here and is actually listed on one of the program covers here. His name was John Wallace, also went by Johnnie, Johnny, and Junior. He raced at Motor City, Mt. Clemens, Toledo, Flat Rock, M-59 and I am sure plenty more. I have hundreds of pictures and lots of programs, I am going to have to get some scanned and will add to your every growing collection. GREAT SITE!!!!
1/13/2004 - Steve Allen
The property is now a mobilehome park. It was torn down in the early 70's and was on the north side of M-59.
Pontiac Speedway (M-59 Speedway) - Uncle Jim From Randy
Uncle Jim From Randy
Pontiac Speedway (M-59 Speedway) - Katlin Fair Bennett From Randy
Katlin Fair Bennett From Randy
Pontiac Speedway (M-59 Speedway) - Joie Chitwood At M-59
Joie Chitwood At M-59
Pontiac Speedway (M-59 Speedway) - 1953-1955 Ads For Oak County Speedways
1953-1955 Ads For Oak County Speedways
Pontiac Speedway (M-59 Speedway) - Joie Chitwood At M-59
Joie Chitwood At M-59
Pontiac Speedway (M-59 Speedway) - Midget Racing
Midget Racing
Pontiac Speedway (M-59 Speedway) - 4Th Of July
4Th Of July
Pontiac Speedway (M-59 Speedway) - From Tim Kelley
From Tim Kelley
Pontiac Speedway (M-59 Speedway) - Kelley Fair Bennet From Tim Kelley
Kelley Fair Bennet From Tim Kelley
Pontiac Speedway (M-59 Speedway) - From Tim Kelley
From Tim Kelley
Pontiac Speedway (M-59 Speedway) - 1951 Vs 2024
1951 Vs 2024
Pontiac Speedway (M-59 Speedway) - Old Aerial
Old Aerial
Pontiac Speedway (M-59 Speedway) - May 1955 Article About Don Pike
May 1955 Article About Don Pike
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