So, what happened to the old fans of Craig Road Speedway?

When Craig Road Speedway died in 1983, the victim of a sudden economic collapse, endless people that had spent long hours frequenting the track must have felt as though they had been kicked to the curb. 

Tom Jones near his Coors Chevrolet race car.
Tom Jones near his Coors Chevrolet race car.

Started clear back in the 1960s, CRS was a home-away-from-home every weekend from Easter all the way into October attracting record fields of stock cars along with fans and competitors.

On the final day in 1983 when young Randy “Rich Kid” Swalwell won the final race, fans and drivers headed for home with no idea whatsoever what might happen in the future. In the same breath wounded (former) owners Bob and Gwen Van Norman relocated to Oregon.

The land that was the site of Craig Road was swallowed up by bankers, and the land was still sitting vacant decades later. To this day, the prolonged exit still sits vacant; with only desert brush taking the place of high-powered machinery driven by drivers from throughout the nation including Canada.

To this day, no one seems to know what will happen with the land just south of Craig Road in North Las Vegas. In every direction, construction is being built ranging from houses to tilt-up structures for industrial usage.

So, what happened to the fans and competitors of CRS? 

Jimmy and Patti Sanderson grew up as young newly-weds (the couple has been married for 57 years) after graduating from Las Vegas High School. He was a three-time winner of annual points titles, while Patti raised the family’s children.

Jimmy and Patti Sanderson
Jimmy and Patti Sanderson love their year-round cabin in Duck Creek, Utah.

Deciding to leave Las Vegas, the Sandersons sold their 2,400 square foot home in northwest Las Vegas and moved full-time to Duck Creek, Utah where they live in a cabin a good 30 miles from Cedar City to the west. 

Brutal winter weather and all, the couple cannot imagine living anywhere else, even though temperatures tank in the winter and the roads in and out of Duck Creek can be a real challenge in the winter especially on Highway 14, a two-lane road that gets treacherous in the winter.

“I just hop on my snowmobile and go riding,” Jimmy said. “We love it up here in both the winter and the summer.

Better yet, Jimmy said the residents of Southern Utah are friendly to the ENth degree.

And by the way, if it’s groceries you need when living in Duck Creek, one quick trip down the hill to  Cedar City and you’ll find all that you need. 

“We love it here,” he said. “We wouldn’t live anywhere else.”

Other Craig Road Speedway competitors and what they’re doing now:

  • Dick Attisani: Hard-charging 79-year-old competitor still owns A-1 Office Machines south of Charleston at 1215 S. Commerce Street in Las Vegas. He is currently involved in new sensation called I Racing.
  • Two-time track titlist Phil Hayes: Currently planning to travel around the country in his motor home.
  • Mike Ray: 65, Owner, Mikon Construction; last raced in 1979.
  • Jimmy Sanderson, 76, retired electrician; he and his wife sold their 2,400 square foot in northwest Las vegas and moved to Duck Creek.
  • Thane Alderman, now racing with Jim Wulfenstein.
  • Al Wittig, retired.
  • Richard Alderman; lives somewhere in Pahrump.
  • Tom Jones: Retired from Jones Media. His son, Donovan, owns the company, so Tom helped him set the digital billboards for the new stadium.
  • Donna Gunther;  still racing in Las Vegas.
  • Danny Pike; a talented driver who now lives in Springfield, Oregon.
  • Talented racer and past Nevada Motorsports Competitor of the Year Dick Cobb; retired from Michael Gaughan’s Southpoint.
  • Billy Newman; out of auto racing;  is now entrenched in the billboard business.

6 comments on “So, what happened to the old fans of Craig Road Speedway?”

  1. Dwight Reply

    Raced CRS from late 60s to early to mid 70s didn’t make the A main often ran well in the B main had great examples in the sport Phil & Don Hayes,Edgar & Jimmy,Ray W.,Flipper,Norm & Walt,Max(Bear) Miller,Paul Faust,
    Van those were the best days

    • Mike Henle Reply

      Those were the days, for sure, the Fall Open Comp was absolutely unbelievable; and every race promoter in the country would love to have had a Craig Road event.

        • Mike Henle Reply

          Glad you like it, Vicki! I’m having an absolute blast with the site which has generated a record amount of followers. Those of us who were part of Craig Road Speedway have remained kind of like an extended family for all of these years,and it’s simply a very cool situation.

  2. Mike Henle Reply

    We are former residents of Duck Creek and I often wonder about creating a winter-time meadow sporting event that would most certainly would include snowmobiles and the rest. I have a feeling that three-time Craig Road racer Jimmy Sanderson would be among the first to compete.

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