Marion County Raceway (formally Marion County International Raceway) Was built in 1969. The track originated in 1969 as a Motocross facility, and the drag strip was built within a year. Originally AHRA sanctioned, the track switched to IHRA in 1980.
For over five decades, the Marion County Raceway has been home to adrenaline pumping racing action. Founded by brothers Bill and Tom Guthery, the raceway began it’s life back in 1969 with the promotion of the first International Motorcross held in the United States.
The track opened for business in November of 1971, but the first race was also the last that season, as the remainder of the schedule had to be cancelled because of that bane of life in the Midwest, snow.
With a sanctioning agreement in place with the American Hot Rod Association, MCIR hosted the AHRA Nationals for several years in the early 1070s. These well-attended events featured such name racers of the day as Art Afrons, “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, Shirley Muldowney, Don Prudhomme, Gene Snow, Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins, “Dyno Don” Nicholson, and many others.
In June of 1975 Bill married Shelby, and after buying out his brother Tom he and his new bride became a dynamic team of track owners and promoters.
MCIR became part of the IHRA family in 1980, and immediately began to support sportsman racers by bringing the organization’s various programs to La Rue. In 1988 the Sports Nationals came into being, and MCIR was home to this outstanding event for the next five years.
In recognition of their dedication to the IHRA, and to sportsman racing, the track that the Guthery family built was twice named IHRA Track of the Year.
The 39-acre facility has been family owned and operated since it’s beginning and boasts RPM ‘Track of the Year’ honors for the United States and also a two-time IHRA ‘Track of the Year’ winner. The Marion County International Raceway joined the IHRA in the early 80’s after originally being affiliated with the American Hot Rod Association. The young drag strip saw success almost instantly as they hosted the AHRA Nationals very soon after their opening.
Drag racing lost a great promoter and friend in May of 2005 with the passing of Bill Guthery. After Bill’s death, Shelby took over operations at MCIR until deciding to retire two years later. She handed the family business down to her son Mark Primavera and his wife, and spent her time between Ohio and Florida until her death in March of 2009.
On the numerical side, the track can accommodate 450 race cars and upwards of 4,000 spectators. Racing is carried out on both the eighth-mile and quarter-mile depending on the class and program. Racers never have to worry about “going long” at MCIR, as the 2,600-foot-long shutdown area is the longest in the state.
Located in LaRue, Ohio, just a few miles outside of Marion, OH and just a rocks throw from Columbus, OH.