Florida City Speedway was a high-banked 1/8 mile asphalt oval track located on Davis Highway in Florida City, a few minutes from Homestead, Florida. It is less than 5 miles from the site of the Homestead Miami Speedway that was built in the 1990's. FCS was completed in 1964, and closed around 1976. Presently, a third-world type flea market sits on the site of the old track.
Racing was great fun at Florida City! TQ Midgets ran the weekly shows with occasional appearances by race karts. Mini-stocks were later added: both the modified "A" class, and the stock "B" class.
This was the smallest track I ever saw. Former track champion George Sweeting, who raced about everywhere including the Daytona beach/road course, said that Florida City was the toughest track he ever drove. Its measurements are as follows: straightaway length: 240' corner radius: 120' track width: 35' The bank was estimated at 15 degrees. Lap times for the midgets were in the 10 second range. That will keep a driver busy!
The SFRA (South Florida Racing Association) was a TQ midget group that operated in South Florida. They didn't have a permanent home, but the club raced at Hialeah, and on the dirt at the Harris Field Rodeo Grounds. Brady Mason and Jessie Young were two of the SFRA officials who really kicked off the Florida City Speedway project.
At the time, a Florida City business man, Cholly Del-Ask, had built the concrete wall that was going to surround a storage yard that he wanted to operate at the site of the track. Somehow, the SFRA talked him into hosting a racetrack inside the walls instead. Many of the SFRA racers pitched in to assist in building the track. Opening night was May 2, 1964.
In the beginning, the racing was sanctioned by the local American Legion post. From the early pictures, it is clear that the stands were usually full of paying customers, yet the track was never on firm financial footing.
Activity grew steadily and the TQ class was going strong. However, on May 24, 1969, the future of the track was changed forever.
Gary Smith, a 21 year old TQ racer, was killed in an accident at the track. Remember, these were the days before roll cages and most of the safety equipment that we take for granted today. Gary was the first and only fatality at the track, but the first was one too many. The drivers lost the idea that Florida City was too little of a track to get hurt at, and participation dropped. Soon after, the track closed temporarily.
Enter the SMRA (Southern Mini-Stock Racing Association). This group had been sanctioning races at Hialeah and Hollywood speedways. They were looking for a permanent home, so they stepped in to operate Florida City and reopened it in August 1970. The TQ racers from the SFRA raced too; they often ran every other week. The SMRA was a club made up of the racers. They often spent all day Saturday at the track: cutting grass, cleaning, repairing, and then racing at night. They had their ups and downs before calling it quits in 1974. The track operated sporadically until summer, 1976 when the gates were locked for good.