Reynoldsburg-Truro Historical Society © 2016
Basil Willoughby shows off his
Speedway Operator, John Conkle, is shown in white on the far right.
These wonderful photos of Devil's Speed Way were sent to us by Sonia Zalipski from Circleville, Ohio. Her Grandfather, John Zalipski and his friend Clark Basil Willoughby raced at the quarry. They remember bleachers at the top of the quarry for race fans. Their best description of the speed way crowds and participants was "rough." by Philip Vaughn
Basil's car not on the race track.
Cars on the race track.
John Zalipski with lug wrench and Basil Willoughby in the car.
Located on the north west corner of Livingston Avenue and McNaughten Road in the late nineteen forties was Devil's Speed Way. The race track was on the site of the Huntington Bank family's home, just outside the west edge of Reynoldsburg.
The property had become a quarry to supply bank run gravel. This was mainly used to level the floors, of the huge new buildings, at the Defense Construction Supply Center in Whitehall. There were two gravel pits, one in front and one in back of the home. Local racing enthusiasts jumped on the open pit and formed their weekend events. They had claiming races, but if anyone actually tried to claim their defeated opponent's car, there was usually a fight. A man named John Conkle was thought to be the organizer of the group. Races were held on Sunday afternoons with 50 gallon drums outlining the track. There was a similar track in north Columbus on Joyce Avenue.
Some of the races took on an endurance test. You drove your car three times around the track, hopped out of the car and onto a bike for three more laps, then off the bike and into a foot race, then back in the car for the final three laps. One can only imagine a lone contestant or two still in the foot race when the cars came speeding by.
By 1950, racing had moved to Columbus Motor Speedway on Williams Road. The pit then became the Eastside Gravel Company owned by Cy Burnett. One of our Historical Society members, Rollie Powell, and his brother, Louis, hauled gravel from the quarry. As a youngster Rollie rode his bike from Brice, Ohio, over to the quarry, to watch the races.
In the sixties and seventies, off road motorcycling became a huge fad and the old quarry became a magnet for dirt bikes. In the late seventies the property was developed for housing and the main entrance is called Quarry Ridge Drive.