Last week, I received a phone call from Pat MacDonald who was looking for photos of her 82-year-old father racing at Dracut or Hudson Speedway. According to Pat, her dad, Robert Belanger, used to race at Dracut Speedway in the 1940s, and his car number w


According to a 2011 Sun article By Sam Weisberg, the fifth-of-a-mile dirt track was located where the current Lowell High School baseball field on Rogers Street is today. Midget auto racing could be seen on Monday nights, with rain dates on Tuesdays. Although the dirt-track racing only lasted from 1938-1941, at full capacity the wooden bleachers around the track, under the lights, could hold 3,500 spectators. General admission was 55 cents for adults and 15 cents for children.

The most famous racer to emerge from the Alumni racing scene was Johnny Thomson, who grew up across the street from the track, and went on to race in the Indianapolis 500.

The last race to take place at Alumni Field was held Sept. 29, 1941, and although a 1942 season was planned, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, and racing was curtailed. In 1945, after the war had ended, the track tried to reopen but was met with neighborhood objections, and Alumni field became a baseball field.

Here are a couple of stories and photos from The Sun archives from 1939-1941.

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