Phoenix’s Manzanita Speedway, the last of the big dirt tracks located near the central corridor of a major metropolitan area, is now gone. The track opened in the early 1950s when Jack Holloway, president of the Arizona Jalopy Racing Association, along with Avery Doyle and Gene Gunn, set about convincing Rudy Everett and Larry Meskimen to convert their unprofitable dog-racing operation into a quarter-mile dirt track. On August 25, 1951, Everett and Meskimen beamed with excitement as Manzy opened to an overflowing crowd. They had tapped into America’s post–World War II craze for automobiles and found their own Lost Dutchman Gold Mine in the process. Manzanita Speedway dominated dirt-track racing in Phoenix and was heralded as one of the top five dirt tracks in the United States. Manzy became an integral part of the racing culture in Phoenix, and its sale and closure in 2009 created a sense of lingering disappointment. Softcover, 127 pages, hundreds of black and white photos.
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