Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14
1782 Fall River Ave
Seekonk, MA 02771
Year Opened: 1946
The Action Track of the East
Seekonk Speedway is the oldest continuously operated family-owned racetrack in the United States. The facility has been operated by the Venditti family since its opening in 1946. The 1/3-mile track is the widest in New England, measuring 72 feet across. The track is sanctioned by NASCAR under the Wheelen All-American Series.
After World War II, D. Anthony Vendetti had a dream of owning and operating a racetrack. He built the facility on his family’s poultry farm and was off to the races (pardon the pun). Opening night took place on Memorial Day 1946 when over 12,000 fans packed the quarter-mile oval. Early races featured open-wheel midget racers. There have been many changes throughout the years on the track, but races in Seekonk have remained a constant in southeastern Massachusetts for over three-quarters of a century.
Food & Beverage 4
There are several concession stands scattered around Seekonk Speedway. There’s a decent menu offered here that hits all the bases. Burgers, dogs, sausage sandwiches, popcorn chicken, and pizza slices are the foundation of the menu. Steak sandwiches are sold at the stands, and fans may upgrade with some peppers and onions to create the “Steak Bomb.”
There’s a good selection of sides available, including nachos, “Fast Track” fries, popcorn, pretzels, and fried dough. Hungry fans can combine fries with their burger, dogs, or popcorn chicken to save a few dollars.
Pepsi products are featured at Seekonk Speedway. Hot drinks are available should you attend the races on a chilly night. Fans looking for an adult beverage will find a beer stand that sells Miller Lite, Coors Light, Narragansett, and White Claw. Local favorite Del’s Lemonade offers their signature frozen lemonade in both lemon and watermelon flavors. If visiting from out of town, it’s a must-have.
Fans are allowed to bring their coolers into Seekonk Speedway, providing they do not bring in alcohol.
Casual fans and newbies may have some difficulty following what is going on at Seekonk Speedway, but there is plenty of action throughout a night’s program. The night starts with short “heat” races in the different classes scheduled for that night (for example, on the night Stadium Journey visited, there were races for Sport Trucks, Late Models, Sportsmen, and Pro Stocks). After an intermission, the heat qualifiers move on to the longer, feature races.
Fans may be surprised at how user-friendly a day at the racetrack can be. The pits are open for an hour before the races begin, so fans can check out the cars up close and even talk to the drivers. During intermission, fans can parade on the track.
The PA announcer does play-by-play during the races, which is helpful when you can hear him. This is not a knock on the PA system, just a statement about how loud the cars can be. There is a small scoreboard on the south side of the track which provides very basic race information.
Seekonk Speedway is located in Seekonk, MA, a suburb of Providence, RI. The track itself is in an industrial area on Route 6, a commercial thoroughfare that runs from Providence down to Cape Cod.
About two miles away from the track is a major commercial area loaded with stores and eateries. Most of the choices in this area consist of chain restaurants and retail stores. If looking for some local flavor, check out Dicky’s Clam Shack or Chelo’s Hometown Bar & Grille. Among the lodging options nearby are the Clarion Hotel Seekonk and the Hampton Inn Seekonk.
Downtown Providence, which offers a great variety of food and lodging options, is a ten-minute drive to the west. The small town of Bristol is a 20-minute drive from the track. It’s a popular summer destination, particularly around the Fourth of July. The town has hosted the oldest Independence Day parade in the nation since 1785.
Seekonk Speedway draws good crowds on Friday and Saturday nights. The crowd runs the gamut, from fans who have been spending their weekends at the track for decades to families looking for an affordable night out. Of course, "Thrill Nights," which feature figure 8 races, spectator drag races, and fireworks, draw big crowds. Fans are generally friendly and many of the regulars know their stuff.
Seekonk Speedway is located in Seekonk, MA, a suburban town of 15,000 residents located on the Massachusetts/Rhode Island state line. Situated on Route 6, a busy commercial thoroughfare, it’s not far from Interstate 195.
There are over 3,000 parking spots in the lots surrounding the track. Fans can enter the facility on either side. After a quick security check, visitors will find themselves on a concourse that circles the entire facility. ¾ of this concourse is paved, and there is dirt on the far side of the facility. Seating is available on all sides of the track in the form of metal bleachers without backs. Fans can rent chairbacks for $3 or bring in their own.
Lines to concession stands are not an issue. Restrooms are dated, but large enough to handle the typical Speedway crowd.
Return on Investment 4
Admission to a night of races at Seekonk Speedway is priced at $18 for adults, $8 for children 6-12, and free for children under 5 years of age. Parking is free in the large lots surrounding the track. Concessions are a bit on the high side, but not outrageous when compared to other sporting facilities in the area.
Near the main entrance is Seekonk Speedway’s Wall of Fame, where significant figures in the track’s eight-decade history are honored.
Newbies to the racing world may be surprised by how interactive a night at Seekonk Speedway can be. The pit area is opened to fans before the night’s races begin and during the break between the qualifying races and main event races, fans can parade on the track.
Seekonk Speedway is an institution in southeastern Massachusetts that has been in operation for over 75 years. The short track here ensures plenty of action to keep everyone from the veteran to novice fan entertained.